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H — ' 






One day, some of the futures of today will have been 
presents (and then pasts). Others won't. This is hardly 
news. But what kind of apparatus is "future"? It car- 
ries many things; promise, determination, hope, imagi- 
nation, anticipation - or a present. Many a newspaper 
holds many of those together. This here looks a bit like 
a newspaper. An analogue device that can be useful to 
play forward, play back or pause some ideas. 

This is a publication that aims to draw together some 
questions, methods and projects addressing organi- 
zational, learning and semantic practices as of 2007. 
In an attempt to remember certain of our ambitions 
of the time, this newspaper aims to draw out some of 
their problems, possibilities and consequences- it has 
been edited by Manuela Zechner and refers to persons 
and undertakings that can be said to connect in the 
first place with the contexts of art, open source, activ- 
ism and education. 

In this extensive playing field, there are many projects 
that have struck me as interesting and which I hope to 
open out and interrogate in different formats here: Self- 
organized and open collaborative assemblies, tempo- 
rary self- inaugurated gatherings in educational, arts 
and activist contexts. 

At the same time, this publication will have 
offered an opportunity to look closer at individual 
practices (as of 2007) and the strategies, wishes and 
ideas invested in them, their states of discourse and 
visibility- this happens via texts, transcripts of inter- 
views from the future archive project (which holds as a 
frame for this newspaper), as well as via presentations 
of methodologies. 

My intention here, as with the future archive, is to draw 
together and open out a topology of divergent practices 
in relation to their political stakes, the ideas for change 
and movement that people invest in them, through look- 
ing at the language, organizational forms and contexts 
they operate with(in). 

Apologies if much of this seems outdated, admittedly 
most of the content of this magazine is from 2007. 
This was however a conscious selection made by the 
editor- to suggest possibilities for back projection as 
well as for leaning forward perhaps. However while giv- 
ing points of approach, this publication is not made to 
tell or determine what the old days were or became, 
but perhaps to look at some ways of using this "future" 
apparatus. The views expressed here are impartial and 
stem from experience as much as research and discus- 
sion: any resemblance between places or characters 
dead or living could be fictional. 

^ MZ 


Eines Tages werden manche der Zukiinfte von heute Ge- 
genwarten gewesen sein (und dann Vergangenheiten). 
Das ist nicht wirklich eine Neuigkeit. Aber was fur eine 
Art Dispositiv ist "Zukunft"? Es birgt viele Dinge in sich: 
Versprechen, Versicherung, Hoffnung, Imagination, Antiz- 
ipation - oder Gegenwart. So manche Zeitung erschlieSt 
viel dergleichen. Dies hier sieht ein bisschen wie eine Zei- 
tung aus. Ein analoger Apparat, der niitzlich sein kann, um 
Ideen ab-, vor- und zuriickzuspielen, oder zu pausieren. 

Diese Publikation versucht, verschiedene Fragen, Meth- 
oden und Projekte zusammenzubringen, die organisator- 
ische, lernbezogene und semantische Praxen anno 2007 
betreff en. Als Versuch, sich an manche unserer Ambitionen 
zu erinnern und manche der damit verbundenen Probleme, 
Moglichkeiten und Konsequenzen anzusprechen, wurde 
diese Zeitung von Manuela Zechner herausgegeben und 
bezieht sich auf Personen und Projekte die in erster Linie 
mit Kontexten von Kunst, Open Source, Aktivismus und 
Bildung verbunden sind. 

Auf diesem weiten Spielfeld gibt es viele Projekte die mir 
nahe liegen und als interessant erschienen, und die ich mir 
vorgenommen habe hier in verschiedenen Formaten vor- 
zustellen und zu hinterfragen: selbst - organizierte und of- 
fene kollaborative Gruppen, temporare selbst- inaugurierte 
Treffen in Bildungs-, Kunst und aktivistischen Kontexten. 

Gleichzeitig wird diese Publikation eine Mogli- 
chkeit dargestellt haben, naher auf individuelle Praxen und 
die Strategien, Wunsche und Ideen (anno 2007), die dahi- 
ngehend investiert werden, einzugehen. Es geht dabei oft 
um deren Diskurse und Sichtbarkeit. Diese Praxen finden 
sich in Texten, Interview- Transkripten vom future archive 
Projekt (das einen Rahmen dieser Zeitung vorgibt) und 
Prasentationen von Methodologien reflektiert. 

Mein Vorhaben hier, wie auch mit dem future archive, ist 
es, eine Topologie verschiedener Praxen hervorzubringen 
und zuganglich zu machen, unter Bezugnahme auf deren 
politische Ansatze, Vorstellungen von Veranderung und 
Bewegung. Eine Betrachtung der Sprache, organisator- 
ischen Form und Kontexte innerhalb derer die avorgestell- 
ten Praxen funktionieren, soil das ermaglichen. 

Moglich, dass vieles davon altmodisch aussieht oder als 
Anachronismus erscheint, zugegebenermafien stammt ein 
GroSteil des Inhalts aus dem Jahr 2007. Dabei handelt es 
sich allerdings um eine bewuSte Entscheidung der Heraus- 
geberin - um einen Riickkoppelungs - und Projektionsef- 
fekt zu schaffen, der vielleicht unerwartete Moglichkeiten 
der Erinnerung und Antizipation birgt. Wahrend Ansatze 
vorgeschlagen werden, nimmt sich diese Publikation nicht 
vor, vorzugeben was die alten Zeiten waren oder wur- 
den, sondern vielleicht einige Moglichkeiten, mit diesem 
"Zukunfts" Apparat umzugehen. Die hier zum Ausdruck 
kommenden Ansichten sind von Erfahrung genauso wie 
von Forschung und Gesprachen gepragt. Jede Ahnlichkeit 
mit lebenden oder real existierenden Orten oder Personen 
konnte fiktiv sein. 


1 it was today/index 

2 what is the future 

2 + 3 future archive interviews (1) 

4+5 future is a verb 

6 Interviews (2) 

6+7 the future archive project 

8-11 b l w : i'm going to tell you 

sth no one else can tell you 

who wasn ' t there 

11+12 interviews (5) 

12-17 negotiating speech and 

organizational practices/ 

G 8 + S U MM I T 

17+18 the collide/collabo project 

19 critical practice 

20 + 21 vocabu lab0rat0r i es 

21 everybodys 
23-25 playing fields 

25-28 industrialtownfuturism 
return of the meshwork markets 
29-39 what are the creative 
industri es 

40-43 a generalized inquiry 
into the character of work 
44 colophon 





Valie Djordjevic 

What was this thing called money again? 

What is the future? It does not exist yet and when it comes 
it disappears and becomes something else. So in the end all 
it is are the hopes and fears of today. The future is what we 
imagine it to be, our projections of what we wish today, of 
how we see the world. Often these projections are dystopic, 
a negative Utopia. The earth will bow under environmental 
pollution; the big powers will throw around atom bombs and 
babies will be born with two heads; we will live under Orwell's 
Big brother and the only thing that is left is to look for the 
nearest spaceship to the outer limits of the universe where we 
will colonize new planets with the seeds of the old problems. 
These were just very generally the tropes of Science Fiction. 
But what about progress? What if things change for the bet- 
ter? Now one could say that it would make for a very boring 
story if there is no conflict and everything is just perfect. Still 
this is the premise of the Future Archive and because it is 
not a Science Fiction novel but an exploration of political and 
artistic activism it works out all right. 

Activism is the struggle for a better life. In the everyday far- 
rago of work for money, projects, private life, media input and 
what not, it is not always easy to remember what this goal is, 
what the things are one fights for. What exactly has to change 
in order to make life better? Thinking about these questions 
is often awkward and embarrassing. Having ideals can eas- 
ily be dismissed as naive and old-fashioned in our postmod- 
ern times. The notion of one ideology under whose roof the 
projects of world improvement could be subsumed is long 
extinguished - which is all in all a good thing. Still, after the 
years of postmodern irony a longing for utopia emerges in 
the last years attested by the growing number of art works 
and projects that deal with Science Fiction and Utopian pro- 

The Future Archive is one of these projects. The basic premise 
is simple: to remember the present from the future - and 
hence to imagine the past from the future - a future where 
something has changed for the better. The archive consists of 
an online collection video interviews of various people - art- 
ists, activists, theorists - who all employ this shift in perspec- 
tive and imagine being their future selves and tell an inter- 
viewer how it was in the past. It is important that something 
changed for the better in these futures because this device 
makes people talk about their hopes not their fears. By using 
this trick the situation is fictionalized - we are not talking as 
present selves but as imaginary future selves - and immedi- 
ately a playfulness emerges that allows to play with ideas in- 
stead of claiming the truth of what makes the world better. 

It takes some getting used to it though. When I first encoun- 
tered the Future Archive at a conference in Berlin, Manuela 
Zechner, the initiator of the project, and her collaborator Anja 
Kanngieser started their presentation 'in character' greeting 
the audience as time travellers from the future. It was slightly 
awkward as we didn't know how to react. We were not pre- 
pared to slip into other roles than those of our present self. 
Still the concept was fascinating and the slight insecurity it 
created lead to an interesting discussion about what it exactly 
is that people expect from conferences like the one we were 
at. Later when we talked about the project Manuela tells me 
how often the interview session have an therapeutic effect. 
They open up possibilities. The conditions are not fixed, im- 
mutable, but can be at least thought differently. That makes 
Future Archive an optimistic project - futures that can be 
thought differently can be changed. There are alternatives to 
the commodified capitalist order, something that seems to be 
forgotten or at least suppressed in the grind of the everyday. 

Looking at the interviews that are available on the website one can see repeating patterns. The 
basic premise that something changed for the better in the 
future ironically often becomes a negative notion in the sense 
that asking oneself what would happen if, for example, there 
was no money, or no borders, no gender, no property. (That 
seems to be something like a recurring idea at the moment - 
the Berlin band Jeans Teams sings in their song "Das Zelt": 
"No god / no state / no work / no money / my home is the 
world", only that money and world rhymes in German: Geld 
and Welt). The predictions of what replaces these old struc- 
tures remain sketchy but the initial question focuses on the 
present as past, not the future as present. That is not to say 
that there are not moments of pure science fiction in the 
interview - which is one part of what makes them amusing 
to watch beside the practical intentions of becoming aware 
of one's political and social wishes. In one interview the 
two participants - Peter and Saul - go off on a tangent on 
how much better it was in the past because there were still 
things to fight for whereas now - in the future - all problems 
are solved. This role-playing aspect makes the archive to be 
more than just another social investigation. 


Listening to some of the interviews, it is striking how rational 
the futures of many people will be, how progressive. Under 
the layers of possibilities the idea of progress still holds 
some fascination cushioned through the experiences of mo- 
dernity. There is no need to qualify the predictions though as 
we are anyway only talking about fictional futures, possible 
ideas about how it could be. The themes people talk about 
in the archive are diverse and cover the preoccupations of 
today: work, money, subsistence, intellectual property, but 
also more basic concepts like language, the body, identity — 
both national and gender -, the organisation of ideas in the 
future and many more. At the moment there are about 40 in- 
terviews online with many more to come. It's in the nature of 
an archive never to be complete as it collects artefacts of the 
past. Normally they are physical, touchable objects, books or 
pictures. The Future Archive collects imaginary futures and 
as the future does not and will never exist its stories form a 
collection of impromptu oral science fiction disappearing in 
the act of telling. 

Valie Djordjevic is a writer, journalist and media worker living 
in Berlin. Like most people in the cultural fields she works in 
too many projects with not enough money. She is interested 
in alternative and fictional worlds, copyright regimes and 
gender politics. http://www. 

LAW AS OF 2027 

...what has happened is, that because of the large voluntary 
manners in which people have started creating norms for 
themselves - saying "we don't accept this just because this 
is the norm you have created" - there has been a significant 
move towards trying to get more bottom - up approaches to 
law-making, there's a lot to be done still, let's meet again 
in twenty years, and things might look very different, but in. 
certain areas, things have completely changed, like in india,- 
where i come from, there used to be extremely draconian leg- 
islations- for example this law that criminalized homosexual- 
ity, so that has gone, now there are "Igbt" marriages... 





CD -lawrence 




PI activism was perceived at the time by the general 
public, or the wider populace i guess you could say, as be- 
ing... often ineffective, radical beyond a sense of meaningful 
politics, or so caught up in itself -with various groups purely 
caught up in their own politics- that it would not be seen as 
important, not as a concern for most, it was seen as some- 
thing that some people would do, and maybe create some 
small gains. 

myself- i would say i became increasingly active, rather than 
becoming an activist, mainly for my own reasons -i faced 
many contradictions and conflicts within my own actions 
and thoughts- and they continually progressed and changed, 
but never went away- as to where i saw i could best operate, 
or be active, to create the changes that i thought were desir- 
able, or that others were also seeking. 

activism was increasingly important because what we be- 
lieved was necessary, the changing of conditions, was not 
occurring through governments, or worse still at the time, 
through increasingly large companies, or even single people 
within companies- the bosses or the CEOs -that often had 
more and more say in how things operated at that time - of- 
ten more so than governments did themselves, i remember 
at the time, and that had been going on for maybe twenty 
years, there was a belief that neoliberalism or what we 
called privatization of many spheres of life was actually a 
benefit that would allow more individual choice, that would 
allow people to operate however they thought was best in 
order to become better off and more economically stable, 
and that was supposedly at the time allowing borders to be 
opened- but we saw that that was not the case at all. 
activist groups within migration and many other fields were 
around, and continually growing or expanding or disbanding 
or forming or changing in response to the issues at the time. that time i was feeling particularly helpless in what i 
could do for a long time, and i knew the situations were 
getting worse, but also that my awareness was growing 
after leaving australia, and then moving to the US, travelling 
through central america and through europe and talking to 
migrants and groups and realizing the situation was similar 
and worsening in all areas, some small ways in which i or- 
ganized or worked against what we refered to as the "border 
regime" at the time were through protest, we also suffered 
a lot with our ignorance and language barriers at the time, 
and growing up in a particularly stable and safe situation in 
which english was seen as the norm led to further so-called 
borders between different groups and limits to how we could 

so i became involved in a global movement against border 
controls, that made a specific recognition of, or distinciton 
between, those who were supposedly in support of migrants 
and helping the situation OF removing precarity but who 
were unable to make the connection to deeply embed 

ded practices of racism within immigration controls, and 
between those making that extra leap to actually call for the 
removal of immigration controls, while many groups were 
calling for the reconfiguring of border controls or immigra- 
tion controls, supposedly humanizing these controls other 
groups were distinctly against controls in any form existing, 
in any country, against any group or individual. that being 
said, it was the beginning of a movement, and at the time 
it didnt reap a particularly huge benefit- we were learning a 
lot at that time, whether we liked it or not- of our mistakes, 
and from those who were directly affected- at the time we 
lacked a lot of knowledge about how we could act in solidar- 
ity instead of acting on behalf of those who were affected, 
on top of that, i found myself almost forced to volunteer 
in a humanitarian organization, who had realized that the 
situation was worsening rapidly, that governments were not 
helping at all and that people were dying on a daily basis, 
of all ages and nationalities, genders, political sidings- it 
didnt matter at the time, these immigration controls wer- 
ent distinguishing on peoples reasonings for fleeing, so we 
found ourselves in direct need to provide aid and assistance 
and medical care in an almost hopeless effort to stop these 
deaths... at the time i think it was successful, although we 
faced incredible repression from governements that were 
supposedly in support of human rights, that simply were 
not being fulfilled. 



PI yeah it was a long time ago, but... i still remember 
that when somebody was born, there was only the decision 
between boy and girl - so they told me i was a girl, for exam- 
ple, and that was a big decision for your whole life somehow, 
because you were raised that way- so if they told you that you 
were a boy, you were raised in the way of a boy- and there 
were a lot of attributes associated with this word "boy" or 

and it was also very different from the health point of view... 
because not only was your identity already decided upon 
when you were born, but also your health, with the genetic 
pool you had... you had no chance to have no cancer, if your 
mother had cancer. 

PI i remember this time as that of a confusion of identities., 
all these constructions of religion, of non-religion or of athe- 
ism, and of modernism- all these things, they were crackling 
and breaking down, and people realized there was nothing 
that you could identify with anymore, so they were struggling 
very much to find somewhere they could belong, or some- 
thing that they could call themselves, so - before there was 
all the new ideas that we live from now, and that we teach our 
childern now, people were very focused on finding an author- 
ity, it was a big "searching time"... 

P2 "authority?" 

PI ..authority, yes, i know its an old word., it's like: if you 
don't feel what your self is, if you don't think and feel your- 
self but you are always trying to find someone else to tell 
you what you feel and to tell you what to do. so it was like., 
being controlled, but in a very lustful way. being controlled to 
not have to control yourself- people were searching for a kind 
of thing that they would trust in, trust to such a degree that 
they would also do what this thing was saying, so they obeyed 
ideas like religion, and some peoples plans... that was a horri- 
ble thing, now we don't have to do that anymore, because we 
have a different educational system, back then, people were 
really told from their birth on: what they had to do, and what 
they had to say- today that's very different. 


PI well, what was also very different back then- i can re- 
member now because we were talking so much about the 
past- it was this thing called "money", it was part of this 
thinking system of giving and taking, it was like a symbol 
for giving and taking, people were working and living for get- 
ting this money, and then they could receive things for their 
money, it started to change when people were digitizing this 
money, then it stopped being like numbers - they were count- 
ing this money in numbers, that were printed on paper - but 
it started to run on what was back then called computer sys- 
tems, that was the beginning of the dissolution of money. 


[...] - budge -stefanie 

4 ■ 




The process of social constitution of a reality beyond capital- 
ism can only be the creation, the production of other dimen- 
sions of living, of other modes of doing and relating, valuing 
and judging, and co-producing livelihoods. All the rest, reg- 
ulations, reforms, 'alternatives', the party, elections, social 
movements, 'Europe' and even 'revolution', are just words 
with no meaning if not taken back to the question of other 
dimensions of living. -Massimo De Angelis [1] 

Project and process description: 

The future archive is a project that issues a series of respons- 
es to the problem of how to perform futures. It engages inter- 
view- conversations that are set in possible times and spaces 
to come, which two or more people performatively inhabit 
as proposed versions of futurity. From there, contemporary 
society is remembered. Upon every conversation, a different 
future is at stake. 

Aiming to offer spaces for carefully developing vocabularies 
and gestures which might point towards potential ways of 
thinking, acting and existing, the project encourages articu- 
lations of hopes and desires for future ways of co/existing, 
negotiating the space between a remembered present and a 
potential future, as well as facing up to the problematics of 
the proposals and imaginaries at hand. With the questions of 
transformation and the social as its starting point, the future 
archive generates a map of divergent scenarios and tactics, 
focusing on connections as well as points of disagreement 
between interlocutors. 

While there is an interviewing party and an interviewed, what 
is engaged is working together to make a movement towards 
what could be/ go beyond contemporary language, problems, 
politics, etc- never a great success, but more of a negotiation- 
play with imagination and responseabilities. Conversations 
are video recorded and become part of an online platform 
that acts as archive as well as space for exchange and discus- 
sion, offering all material as open content. 

At, all material (audio/video/text etc) gen- 
erated in the framework of the project becomes available for 
download, commentary and non-commercial use. 

In 2007, the future archive brings forth a series of collabora- 
tively curated activities, pertaining to thematic strands within 
the project, that take the form of discussions, performances, 
screenings, and so forth. In a relevant institution or open 
space, collective transformation of a present space into a site 
of futurity is attempted. 

The future archive: 

subversive potentials in 
remembering and knowing 

Future is not a noun, it's a verb. -Bruce Sterling 

We would like to take this statement as a basis for thinking 
about knowledge as verb. 

The future archive stages divergent rehearsals and 
formulations of strategic means, through which the transfer- 
ence and transformation of ideas, knowledges and modes of 
relation may be practised. Such rehearsals are essential to 
any micro-transfiguration of present socio-political situations 
(of Empire). The methodology articulated through the future 

archive is, in part, an attempt to explore and experiment with 
the ways in which we consider, construct and enact our rela- 
tionships to, and within, the world. This kind of questioning 
is important to us in our imagined transformations of soci- 
ety because we, individually and collectively, make our worlds 
through our consensus and participation, through our insur- 
rection and negotiation. 

The process actualised by the future archive is to do 
with knowledge in the sense of "verbal" knowledge, of actively 
"knowing ones knowledge" at a given point, knowing its situ- 
atedness and what one can and cannot do with it. Perceiving 
knowledge as a quite flexible and virtual playing field within 
which to manoeuvre and come to act, as opposed to con- 
flating knowledge with pre-accumulated information or de- 
terminist factuality. The conversational format utilised by the 
project aims to establish spaces for sharing ideas and strate- 
gies in order for them to bring about new modes of question- 
ing, imagining and knowing. The delineation of a discursive 
and epistemological field is the crucially difficult process at 
the basis of these conversations, which reveal knowledges as 
open and translatable bases for action and movement. 

On the process 

The process undertaken by the future archive consists of con- 
versations (individual/ group, formal/ informal) that experi- 
ment with lateral information sharing and creating. Building 
on a variety of methods (from future studies/ science fic- 
tion/ documentary practice/ human geography etc), different 
modes of constructing knowledge and information are facili- 
tated, and the parameters of knowledge as empirical or in- 
formational "facts" are challenged in favour of a re-conceptu- 
alisation of knowledge transmission as a process of sharing 
modalities for negotiation and understanding. What comes to 
be shared in the exchange of questions and answers is not 
just knowledges and information as they exist previous to the 
encounter, but what may be envisioned jointly (not necessar- 
ily in equilibrium). Questioning and learning occurs horizon- 
tally, co-relationally, detached from a sovereign position of 
expertise defined by diplomas, degrees, and self-gratifying 
vocabularies- these might no longer exist in an imagined fu- 
ture. The knowledge that is generated through the process 
of the conversation or interview operates outside of conven- 
tional schemas of education or pedagogy, and is also hardly 
locatable in the sense of a strict philosophical discourse. It 
is knowledge that emerges through a process of sharing and 
reciprocity of ideas and hopes. It is a knowledge of imagi- 
native possibilities in which divergent kinds of knowledges, 
tactics and aspirations for alternate ways of living can be 
related, transformed and transferred - not as fixed ideas, but 
as possible gestures. 

Re-membering and practice 

The conversations hope to provide a modality through which 
to creatively challenge our assumptions on how the world may 
be, to bring about different, multiplicitous and fragmented 
narratives of potential futurities. Methodologically, this hap- 
pens through inviting participants to imagine themselves in a 
potential future, recalling the present-as-past. 

Initially, there is some gesture of translation from 
the present into the future. This predominantly consists of 
opening remarks made by the interviewing party which seek 
to situate the conversation, for instance: "Welcome to this 
future. I have looked through the archives and found that in 
2007, you were involved in what was then known as 'activ- 
ism'. In this present context, it is no longer quite clear what 
this term meant at that point, and I would like to ask you to 
give a bit of context and explain..." 

This is succeeded by an exploration of personal (po- 
litical, social, cultural) ideas and practice via questions such 
as "what did activism mean back then, to you personally; and 
how was it popularly understood?" Although the discussion 
often begins by isolating a key area of interest or relevance, 
within the process of speaking and interacting a high level of 
flexibility regarding the potential trajectories of conversation 
is retained, allowing for other lines of conversation to emerge. 
The question-answer play encourages an open space of dis- 
course within which there can be concentration upon one or 
several persons, practices, ideas and hopes. 

Tactical remembering 

The questions posed by the interviewer oscillate along a level 
of naivety and inexpectancy (especially in the initial phases 
of conversation) by asking for explanation and contextualiza- 
tion. This is done without a claim to truth as such, and any 
desire for truth is negated in favour of the discovery of sites 
of potentiality and subversion. In creatively questioning the 
meaning of concepts and notions from within an imagined 
future, a different epistemological situation arises, which 
then has to be navigated or again subverted through some 
tactics of remembering. At the same time as being directed 
at the interviewee, the questions illicit a response from the 
interviewer; they help her, confront her, ask her to present 
herself in the past and as such come to show herself in the 
future. During the course of the interview, questions or com- 
ments may come to act more antagonistically, challenging 
the interviewee/s and interviewer/s and further prompting 
new shifts towards radical images and understandings. 

The process operates on this level of language and reiterating 
concepts as much as on the level of praxis. The interviewed 
will (be encouraged to) come up with praxes that correspond 
to the shifts in language that have been proposed. This imag- 
ining is a parallel process that runs throughout the conversa- 
tion: a struggle for images and praxes that might illustrate 
how a different understanding (of the social, politics, the 
creative, economic etc.) might function in material terms. 

As the discussion moves from structured to more in- 
formal (eventually shifting to a point when both parties have 
reached some limit of what they find constructively imagi- 
nable there and then) the form of interrelationship becomes 
more and more speculative, joking and colloquial until even- 
tually the process is recognized as finished. 

Tactical knowledges 

It is clear that through this methodology a radical depar- 
ture is made from historical conceptions of education and 
knowledge production and dissemination, especially institu- 
tional knowledges. While the mechanisms of knowledge, and 
their relation to power, have been rigorously deconstructed 
over the past 50 years, little has changed in the context of 
educational apparatuses. Hierarchies have remained fixed, 
with the capacity to hold and transfer knowledge legitimat- 
ed through a system of accredited expertise. The teacher is 
easily distinguished from the student, the philosopher from 
the dilettante, the economist from the gambler. This is not 
to suggest however that this kind of knowledge is the only 
recognised form. There are many trajectories of knowledge 
choreographed around different practices and contexts, ex- 
periences, gestures and memories. But these knowledges 
are rarely dominant, rarely appear in media spotlights or on 
lecterns for having attained specialist status. This distinction 
is predicated on a particular construction of power and vis- 
ibility, still prevalent in an era when technology has made it 
viable for almost anyone to make their knowledges and opin- 
ions accessible. The future archive is an attempt to subvert 
these hierarchical mechanisms of knowledge by placing them 
into dialogical interplay with memories, affects, and perfor- 
mative imaginings or "fictions". What is at stake might be 
called an active exchange of tactical, navigational and/ or 
creative potential. In working towards an understanding and 
experience of certain "fictions" in relation to "facts", a strug- 
gle to gain ground in such playing fields or spaces arises 
from which certain potentials enable through the conflict find 
resonance. This is necessarily "unsuccessful", impartial and 
troublesome as a process, and irresolvable as a problem. 

The kinetic and sometimes discordent knowledge that arises 
through this process, through the interactions between the 
interviewee/s and interviewer/s, and through the interactions 
between various expertises', experiences and interests, is one 
that only obliquely resembles conventional understandings of 
knowledge. The kind of conversation described may provoke 
a significant learning process for those involved. As previous- 
ly posited, what is transmitted is not knowledge predicated 
on a consensual ground and a "common understanding" (or 
in other cases, specialized understanding) of discrete, total- 
izing units of empirically or otherwise agreed upon facts or 

information. What appears are rather possible or speculative 
knowledges. The knowledges that emerge are unknown be- 
fore the encounter: the conversation is a co-relational creative 
process rather than what one would traditionally consider as 
participating in a hierarchically educational discursive econo- bo 
my. Previous knowledge's come into contact with one another ^ 
to become the condition for their own transgression, meta- 


morphosed in the process of conversation by way of perfor- > 
mative/ assertive statements that bring into reality a set of '~ 
possibilities. 0 

In light of proposals such as that of De Angelis which argue ^ 
that what must be strived for are alternative ways of living ^- 
and organizing that coincide with our political positionalities _^ 
- a performative project such as the future archive consti- =5 
tutes an attempt to offer creative ways of speaking about ^ 
such alternatives and testing them through the dispositiv of ^ 
subversive memory. The future archive methods are predicat- ^ 
ed upon processes of reciprocity and play that disregard the ^ 
hyper-capital of specialized knowledge by collectively and ex- 
perimentally participating in the exchange and trans-forma- 
tion of such knowledge and its situation. The jointly asserted 
and engaged vision of possible futures come about through 
a set of movements and tactical/ strategical decisions which 
interlocutors come up with and propose to one another. This 
open, collaborative and re-creational approach to discourses 
hopes to allow us to, following David Harvey, "intervene in the 
way knowledge is produced and constituted at the particular 
sites where a localized power-discourse prevails." [2] 

The future archive methodology may be seen to resemble 
more a game than a conventional educational situation, and 
we would suggest that it mainly utilizes knowledge as an im- 
perative towards movement and participation. Our proposal 
of knowledge as a verb can be seen as one made possible 
through shifting of virtual and actual terrains provoked by the 
acts of remembering, guessing and discussing. The intention 
of such verbal dealings with knowledge is not a consensus. 
There is no desire to negate disjunction or rupture. As the 
project website illustrates in its architecture, the assembly 
and combination of such conversations in the framework of 
an online archive is meant to simply offer a mutable topology 
and space for questioning, relating and making visible ideas, 
so that they may come to be useful in various ways. For it is 
through those discoveries of momentary overlaps, and the 
continued conversations on points of divergence, that partici- 
pants can proceed together into unknown areas of specula- 
tion. And from this we can try to make spaces for thought 
that can range from pragmatic to Utopian, but in any case 
affect the way we remember ourselves in the present. 

Manuela Zechner and Anja Kanngieser 


[1] Massimo De Angelis The Beginning of History: Value 
struggles and Global Capital (London and Ann Arbor, Pluto 
Press: 2007) p. 1 

[2] David Harvey The Condition of Postmodernity (Cambridge, 
MA and Oxford, UK, Blackwell Publishers: 1990) p. 46. 

Anja Kanngieser is a phd candidate at the University of 
Melbourne, Australia. She has been working on examining 
the intersections between aesthetics and activism, 
specifically german activist groups that use aesthetic 
techniques as a means of articulating their dissent. She is 
also involved in the future archive project, and works with 
installation and radio, 

Manuela Zechner coordinates the future archive project and 
works with Critical Practice Research Cluster at Chelsea 
College of Art and Design, London, as well as being engaged 
in various other collaborative projects in the fields of 
new media/ art and education. Her current work centers 
around archives, dialogical practices and future studies.,, www. 
criticalpracticechelsea. org 




langfristiges Projekt das auf Interview-Gesprachen basiert, 
die in der Zukunft stattfinden. Zwei oder mehr Menschen 
begeben sich in einen performativen Raum der Zukunft, 
wie er von einem oder mehreren Teilnehmern vorgeschla- 
gen wird, um sich von dort aus an zeitgenossische Gesells- 
chaftsf ormen zu erinnern. 

Das spezifische Gespwrachsszenario schafft einen Raum, 
in dem vorsichtig Vokabulare und Syntax von potentiel- 
len Denk- und Seinsweisen entwickelt werden konnen. Im 
Kontext einer entstehenden Realitat werden von Gesprach 
zu Gesprach verschiedene Anstatze und Sprechweisen aus- 
gehandelt. Zwischen Interviewer und Interviewtem wird 
eine gemeinsame Bewegung jenseits von zeitgenossischem 
Diskurs, Problemen und Politiken versucht. Der Lokus die- 
ser Gesprache sind immer Praxen (seien das kiinstlerische, 
aktivistische, soziale, wissenschaftliche Praxen) und die 
Projektion einer Praxis in eine Zukunft, auf die diese wun- 
schenswert gewirkt hat. 

Das Projekt besteht aus einem online Archiv sowie zahlre- 
ichen Parallelinitiativen, die entstandenes Material in ver- 
schiedenen Formaten weiterentwickeln oder befragen. 

Was im Rahmen des Zukunftsarchivs entsteht, wird mit 
einer Open Content Lizenz versehen, und steht somit 
jedem/jeder zur nicht-kommerziellen Verwendung zu Ver- 
fiigung. Auf wird samtliches Mate- 
rial veroffentlicht und zum download freigestellt. Auf diese 
Weise tragt das Projekt zur Erarbeitung einer Art (Sprach- / 
Vernetzungs-) Protokoll oder Baukasten bei, der fur Forsc- 
hung sowie Praxis -im weitesten Sinne- relevant werden 
kann. Das Zukunftsarchiv wurde von Manuela Zechner 
initiiert und wird von ihr koordiniert. Hauptanliegen des 
Projektes ist es, Kontexte in denen das Projekt Form findet 
kritisch zu reflektieren und Formen von Zusammenarbeit 
und Organisation zu finden, die nicht hierarchisch oder 
profitorientiert operieren. 

Haupt-kollaborateurlnnen sind Anja Kanngieser; sowie 
Cinzia Cremona, Neil Cummings und Mary Anne Francis 
als Critical Practice Research Cluster. 



yeah back then we used to., most of our feelings and re- 
sponses to situations were controlled by these glands which 
we had in our brains, which would release different chemicals 
in different situations, fear was this kind of instant hit... i 
think it was a mixture of adrenaline, which we still have now, 
mixed with another chemical, you'd feel your heart beating, 
you'd feel this pressure on your chest, and you'd become 
more alert., and if you saw it in someone else you would see 
their eyes darting around, it would just be released so you 
could have a quick response to a difficult instant situation, 
so that before you could think and logically respond, it would 
make you act and do something, we used to also have this 
fear which was more long-term, linked to what we used to 
call ambition., if you were worried that something was not 
going to work out in the long run, it would — i mean maybe it 
was a slow release of what i was talking about earlier, but — 
you would have this slow nagging feeling that something was 
gonna go wrong, it used to keep people up at night and it 
used to scare them. 



project that issues a series of responses to the problem of 
how to perform divergent futures. It engages interview- con- 
versations that are set in possible times and spaces to come, 
which two or more people performatively inhabit as proposed 
versions of futurity. From there, contemporary society is re- 
membered. Upon every conversation, a different future is 
negotiated via a discursive method that borrows from tech- 
niques of interview as well as dialogue and free speculation. 

Aiming to offer spaces for carefully developing vocabularies 
and gestures which might point towards potential ways of 
thinking, acting and existing, the project encourages articu- 
lations of hopes and desires for future ways of co/existing, 
negotiating the space between a remembered present and a 
potential future, as well as facing up to the problematics of 
the proposals and imaginaries at hand. The locus of this is 
always practice (be it theoretical, activist, scientific, social 
practice etc), which is cast into a possible future upon which 
it is imagined to have impacted in a desirable way. With the 
questions of transformation and the social as its starting 
point, the future archive draws out a map of divergent sce- 
narios and tactics, focusing on connections as well as points 
of disagreement between interlocutors and conversations. 

While there is an interviewing party and an interviewed, 
what is engaged is working together to mwake a movement 
towards what could be/ go beyond contemporary language, 
problems, politics, etc, in playful negotiation with imagina- 
tion and responseabilities. Conversations are video recorded 
and become part of an online platform that acts as archive as 
well as space for exchange and discussion, offering all mate- 
rial as open content. 

At, all material (audio/video/text etc) gen- 
erated in the framework of the project becomes available for 
download, commentary and non-commercial use. 

The future archive brings forth collaboratively curated ac- 
tivities, pertaining to thematic research initiatives within the 
project, that take the form of discussions, performances, 
screenings, interview labs, and so forth. As a project it is co- 
ordinated and initiated by Manuela Zechner, setting out to be 
reflexive and critical of the contexts it operates within (not 
only the art world but increasingly pedagogical or critical 
social contexts) and of its collaborative and organizational 
forms. Please post or email your feedback and criticizm if 
you find problems with this. 

Main collaborators for 2007 include Anja Kanngieser; Cinzia 
Cremona, Neil Cummings and Mary Anne Francis as Critical 
Practice Research Cluster. 


we had a sort of self-vindicating relationship with the outside 
world... or an external reality, transcending the flesh was very 
much part of getting rid of that idea - or actually maybe em- 
bodying the flesh once again but thinking about it differently, 
a lot of the medical interventions at the time, and a lot of 
new technologies at the time very much treated the body as 
an object, a thing, that was unto itself- whereas you could not 
accomplish the feats that... you could not achieve that kind 
of scientific success without a series of instruments actually 
enacting that kind of reality, and this is something that was 
quite missed in the scientific research that was going on at 
the time, it treated the human body as this bounded object. 

O future archive : projects © 


back to the archive 

The ''uture archive hosts collaborative projects that engage its 
discursive method towards research and conversation in 
various 'ields. 

One o f these is the development o ; a methodology that works 
along the lines o ; dialogue, imagin[in)g and remembering 
that can come to act towards pedagogical, artistic as well as 
activist practices. 

The -indings o ; these projects are to be published on 
'' in due time. 

The future archive project continues as long as there is interest 
in this kind o ; research. If you would like to suggest to 
undertake a specific strand o f research in this context, just get 
in touch. 

Below, you find a list of current and past research projects, in 

o The articulation of resistance: 
activism and activist speech 

o Critical Practice 

o Self-Organization 

o Audience, listening 

http /.,'; archive 
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it was basically about metaphysical security, it manifested 
itself in various ways: in god, or in truth, or in science, or in 
logic, or in reason, or in technology., as a way of providing 
a kind of metaphysical security, it was a way of providing 
people with the impression that they were secure, because 
they were in possesion of the truth, or the law, or the way of 
controling the world around them- either controlling it lin- 
guistically or controlling it literally with tools. 




(This article invites you to share our mode of inquiry, to mo- 
bilize and amplify this practice. We present you with a kit and 
question the gap between you and the page or screen you 
are reading from. 1 We invite you to re-speak Queen Mother 
Moore with the tools and prompts provided here, along with 
resources from your own abilities and histories.) 


A kit for speaking and re-speaking 
by BLW 

Video recording: Queen Mother Moore, recorded at Green Ha- 
ven Federal Prison by the People's Communication Network, 

Speech transcript Queen Mother Moore, see end of text 





Recording device 

BLW is huddled around the monitor, three women watching 
an unauthorized dub of a recording on the sidelines of a con- 
ference about radical media. We contemplate the speech and 
the tape, and the electrical push-pull created by the video's 
ability to simultaneously recall the moment when Queen 
Mother Moore addressed inmates of a federal prison, while 
also calling out the vast distance between that moment and 
this one. 

BLW proposes "re-speaking, " the act of committing to mem- 
ory and reciting a recorded speech as a practice-based em- 
bodied method of inquiry into the history of radical politics 
and our positioning as subjects today We find that by holding 
archival speech at a critical distance, we can also investigate 
the productive role of media in those politics and positions. 
Our interest is in the text and the conditions and implications 
of the recording, speech and the conditions and implications 
of utterance. We are looking for resonance— not theater. We 
are looking for <speech> beyond the limitations of the re- 

Watching the tape again, BLW wonders what it meant to 
make the speech today and what it means to have preserved 
it. As close as we move in, we are still watching and listening 
to Queen Mother Moore speak from inside the tube. We won- 
der if there is another way to "play back," to move beyond 
televisual enchantment in search of political agency. We are 
interrogating a gap that pertains to radical media, militant 
speech, public memory, and the positioning of subjects. 

We ask ourselves if we have any experience with radical 
speech, radical politics, in our daily lives. What are the cus- 
toms and practices of radical speech in your own history to 
refer to? 2 

1. SPEAKER - a person who speaks 

In civil rights activist Queen Mother Moore's stirring speech 
she directly addresses the problem of empowerment as an 
embodied and political process that is shared: the transfer 
and redistribution of power among the heretofore powerless. 
BLW is longing for a moment that we were not a part of, and 
that even now, we might be excluded from. 

Everybody's gun came out, and this is what they said, 
"speak, Garvey speak! Speak, Garvey!" with the guns in 
their hands. "Speak Garvey, speak!" And Garvey said, "As I 
was saying...." 

We want to know how we might be called to speak, in what 
ways might the actions of others enable us to speak. "Speak 
Speak!!!" In what ways can you no longer be silent? 

Our impulse is to re-tell the story of Queen Mother Moore. 
The story she tells is about Marcus Garvey in New Orleans, 
in which an entire community arms themselves and success- 
fully opposes the power that seeks to silence their leader. Her 
words, "Speak, Garvey, Speak" are an invitation and a com- 
mand, marking an imperative responsibility or obligation: 
Garvey must respond, he cannot be silent. 

How can you respond to such a command, given the anxi- 
ety and difficulty of speaking, what are the experiences and 
practices that may enable you to respond? 

/ wanna give you a little example of the story of Marcus 

I wanna tell you something that nobody else could tell you 

who hadn't lived long enough to be here today, to experi- 
ence this is to tell you. Those who were there. ..down in New 
Orleans, when the police told Marcus Garvey he couldn't 
speak to us, and prevented him from coming to speak to us 
one night. 

We understand that when Queen Mother Moore tells her 
story, it is as a witness, as someone who was there. Her 
testimonial is not just a telling-it is a summoning, 
a conjuring. 3 

Her breath is a vehicle that unleashes and mobilizes power 
within the prison courtyard, in the same way that Garvey's 
audience used their guns to physically enable the transfer of 
power in New Orleans fifty-three years earlier. What avenues 
do we have for the transfer of power? 

We ask if a potential for mobilizing has been swallowed by 
watching. We recall what we have witnessed in our own lives. 
How can we use these recollections as a provocation for 
ourselves, to speak about what we have witnessed? 

Is it ok to speak imperfectly or clumsily? What are the ways to 
learn or to build your capacity? 

Queen Mother Moore suggests power is collectively generated 
(seized), so this you" is always the collective you, a commu- 
nity of speaking subjects where all can be summoned if need 
should call. We look within our past experience for the kinds 
of solidarities that can produce mobilizing language. 

As you speak the words of others, what is it that is moving 
through you? You might ask yourself if the saying of these 

words increases your commitment to programmatically 
unifying action or is it an unfamiliar encounter like trying on 
a strange costume? 

This discomfort is a measure of our distance from radical ex- 
perience. This distance might feel like a kind of pain beyond ' 
failure or inadequacy a kind of anguish, despair. 

Is this pain also the measure of our limits-of our commit- 
ment, or courage? Why is it that the acts of watching and 
speaking produce opposite effects? 

Watching = euphoric, elated, inspired, safe // Speaking = ^ 
painful, scary. Silence=death. H — 


What can we understand about our distance from the event, 
from the experiences of which it is a part? What kinds of 
erasures are perpetrated by speaking these words? And is 
there not still the possibility of erasure if we banish these 
words to the archive? 

2. A PLATFORM - a place from which to 

A conference we attend gives us an opportunity to explore 
our frustration with the seeming impossibilities, but also the 
possibilities, of radical speech today. We feel urgency about 
speaking out about conditions that surround and affect us, 
and we are given, quite literally, a comfortable place to stand 
and talk. In a larger sense, we are standing on the platform 
of this moment in which it is so difficult for radicality to have 
any sort of a foothold. Queen Mother Moore stands behind a 
podium in the courtyard of Green Haven prison, in front of 
the inmates and invited visitors and also in front of the prison 
guards. She stands in front of, and faced by, both those she 
seeks to mobilize and those who are agents of repressive 
power. She stands in a prison courtyard at a time when young 
men are returning from Vietnam and the next stage of mili- 
tary deployment is domestic. 

Stand on a crate, a balcony, or in front of a line. Stand in 
front of people, close to them, or far away. Stand-alone. 
Stand with others. Stand in a classroom, a park, an office 
building, museum, a grocery store, a safe place, or unfa- 
miliar one. Stand in front of those you wish to mobilize and 
those who wish to silence you. Look for your possible plat- 
forms. Consider the location from which-and within which- 
you speak. Speaking requires deep engagement. Tap into 
your potential as aspeaker. Tap into your beliefs, practices 
and experiences. Find an ideological ground to stand upon. 

This distance between her experience and ours gains clarity 
as we imagine her as a model. Who the hell is our model? 
BLW begins with recitations in an apartment, a bus in Chi- 
cago. We struggle against our comfortable silence. We are not 
accustomed to stridency. We recognize how Queen Mother 
Moore stands upon and within a lifetime of practice in com- 
munity organizing, personal and collective practices of politi- 
cal struggle. The deeply scarring racial violence experienced 
in early childhood and her encounter with Garvey and the Afri- 
canist movement are defining moments in her life and work. 

What other kinds of platforms support speaking? The 
Speakers' Bureau is a ubiquitous structure for the distribu- 
tion of speakers. Speakers' Bureaus take many forms, from 
business ventures that operate as talent agencies for neo- 
liberal motivational speech, to the public educational face 
of institutions. There are Speakers' Bureaus for the poor, 
the homeless, and the Left. You can join one, or start one 
together. Train together in order to explore practices and 
traditions that cultivate and enable speakers and oratory. 

She stands within a history of oratory but she undoubtedly 
encountered opposition from the very communities for which 
she advocated, for speaking the unspeakable, for her insist- 
ence on naming and indicting all forms of inequality, for rock- 
ing the boat. 





The structural landscape of systematic oppression and deni- 
gration against which she always stood would not be unfa- 
miliar to her today. BLW considers the concentration and 
deployment of power in our daily lives. We look for places in 
our silence from which we can begin, recognizing that we are 
■ you are always situated in a landscape of power. 

What is the history and use of speaking freely? Do you need 

to follow the G-8 to speak or can you find targets in your 
immediate landscape to directly interpolate, with others, or 
alone? For those of us coming of age after the systematic 
elimination of the left in the late '60's and 70's, is there a 
higher tolerance of silence, or of self-censorship? 

Today, public utterance might push us to the border of 
legality. Moore's platform is insurgent, revolutionary-a call 
to action that could be criminalized today as an incitement 
to terrorism. What are the implications of this call to arms 
today? Where are today's platforms for revolutionary change? 
How do we understand the structures of power and oppres- 
sion today, where is it that we can stand to face them? 

3. AMPLIFICATION - a way to make 
your voice heard 

We think about the microphone, the vehicle that carries her 
voice across the prison courtyard. Her speech is emphatic, 
commanding. It is further amplified through rhetorical devic- 
es such as repetition, modulation. Her speech has increased 
resonance because she is speaking as a witness - no one else 
can tell the story in this way, because no one else was there. 
She is a kind of diaphragm herself, an amplification device 
that converts one kind of signal or vibration into another— 
one form of power into another. 

The police— knew they would have been slaughtered in that 
hall that night— because nobody was afraid to die. You've got 
to be prepared to lose your life in order to gain your life. 

You will need to find a way to make your voice heard. Shout 
loudly, or use a bullhorn. Stand very closely to others. Listen 
closely. What, if anything, makes this difficult? Is there a 
distance or divide over which your words cannot travel? 

In practicing outspokenness, BLW produces eruptions of 
sound that are unintelligible. 

What is politically potent about the grunts we emit on our 
way to language? Is there political potential in amplifying the 

struggle to speak, our failure, anxiety, fear. Despair? Sound 
is a dynamic vibration-can these dynamics "do" something? 
We feel what it does to our bodies to speak out, when we do 

so for a long time. Can these vibrations become converted 

into other forms of energy? How do you experience this 
transformation? Can this energy be channeled, transferred? 

4. AN AUDIENCE - someone to speak 
to / with 

The video depicts her speaking outside before a group of 
young African Americans. As the camera pans around, we see 
other features of the courtyard space where she is speaking; 
it is grey and filled with sun. Her audience is on folding chairs 
and behind them, tall walls made of concrete, a guard tower. 
Moore is addressing inmates and their guests at the Green 
Haven federal penitentiary in upstate NY. 4 The three of us, 
as BLW, began our recitations in the places of our work. We 
were invited to do a project at Pilot TV in Chicago. From a 
stage, we addressed a modest group of artists and activists, 
gathered to experiment with the possibilities of radical me- 
dia today. They sit on sofas and folding chairs and listen, not 
without some discomfort. 

Look for an audience, for someone to address. Construct an 
audience. Appropriate an audience. Invite others to speak 
with you. Consider your relationship, and theirs, to struc- 
tures of power, your relationship and theirs to others, not 
present, who have transferred power to you and the obliga- 
tion to transform/redistribute it. 

Now how did we do that? How do you go determined to keep 
the powers that be from preventing your leader from speak- 
ing to you? How do you do that? 

Moore has been invited by Think Tank, a prisoners' group or- 
ganized around skill building for community empowerment. 
In this moment the nation-wide prisoners' rights movement 
is intensifying. Think Tank's organizing is part of their com- 
mitment to deepening this movement through a conscious 
inquiry into the relationship between conditions in the black 
communities and high rates of incarceration. Queen Mother 
Moore has herself been instrumental for years in this broader 
movement for dignity and justice. The yard is full of people 
who are developing strategies for educating and empowering 
themselves. This site is the place of activation and exchange. 
This is where the "kit" is activated through your re-speaking. 
People are organizing themselves to hear her speech and to 
speak about the functions of power. 

How does speaking with others become a way to understand 
how power is functioning within all of our lives? We can't all 
claim to be in the same position in relation to power and 
designations of authority, but speaking with each other is a 
way to understand these structures, and the ways we all im- 
plicated in various structures of power and powerlessness. 

The relationship between speaker and audience is established 
through Moore's reflections on the power of speech itself: the 
witness of a speech later becomes a speaker, who speaks to 
someone else, who then becomes a witness who can then 
speak. Thus, power is transmitted through a redistribution of 
the agency and the mandate to speak through collectivity. 


We came here to tell you to come home to us. 

We want you. We came here to invite you and to let you 
know that you are not alone and to let you know that you 
have brothers and sisters who are waiting for you and who 
are fighting for your return and who are preparing places to 
receive you. 

And we don't want you to feel rejected. You've been reject- 
ed out of the man's society. 

But you are not rejected out of black society 

Consider your relationship to the history of the civil rights 
movements, the history of radical or militant movements 
in the US. In what ways can you invite others to reconsider 
their status as criminals, outsiders, and outcasts? Who 
could you speak to and who could you be speaking with. 
What shared problems are being manufactured or produced 
in the spaces you inhabit? What is being overlooked or sen- 
tenced to silence? 

The expectation that Moore's listeners will participate in a 
transference of power is implicit in her exhortation to her 
audience that they return home empowered citizens. She is 
charging them with a responsibility to effect radical change 
once they get home. She charges them to address the forces 
of social determination that distribute property, that desig- 
nate theft, that assign criminality. Power is being transmitted 
through speech but the power of speech is not the goal. 

You couldn't steal brothers. 

You can't steal you can't steal from a white man— all that 
you can do is take back from him. 


It's all you can do because everything that he's got— every- 
thing, everything the white man has, everything, he stole it 
from you. 

Everything, he stole it from you— 
You are not the criminals. 

You are not the criminals. 

Queen Mother Moore speaks to her audience, a group of in- 
carcerated people, about an instance in which a group of citi- 
zens "came armed. " 

Can speech itself be violent? Is it possible to see various 
contemporary instances of violence and militancy as acts 
of speech or communication? What are the various uses of 
violence today? What are the various forms of legitimated 

violence, and what forms of violence are criminalized? 

We ask whether speech has the potential to unmask violence. 
But as we begin to re-materialize this speech before an audi- 
ence, we are forced to confront the removal of the person tell- 
ing the story. Speaking the words of Queen Mother Moore is 
ethically complicated and potentially offensive. Re-speaking, 
and re-membering might function as acts of over-speaking, 
over- writing or erasure. If white bodies speak the words of a 
black civil rights leader, is this an act of stealing? Are we con- 
tinuing a history of theft, of colonizing language, homelands, 
bodies, and identities? Her words remind us of the naked 
violence of this story. 

You are not the criminals. 

I'd like to ask you, have you stolen anybody's heritage? 

Have you stolen children from their mothers and sold them 
on the slave block? 

Have you stolen wealth from the land and have you stolen 
whole countries? 

5. A RECORDING DEVICE - something 
that witnesses and remembers speech 

Queen Mother Moore's speech was recorded by People' Com- 
munication Network, a radical video collective. This was the 
first time an alternative video collective was allowed to docu- 
ment activities inside the walls of the prison. The accessibil- 
ity and immediacy of the video medium in the early 1970's 
ushered in a period of techno-activism: an optimistic, some- 
times Utopian, movement that saw video as means of radical- 
izing the relationship between spectator and spectacle. The 
medium was the message, and the message was meant to 
reinvigorate participatory democratic culture. 5 BLW records 
our experiments as an exploration of the role of this device 
as a repository of history and as a tool that participates both 
in the mobilization and demobilization of speech. 

While Queen Mother Moore's speech does not mention the 
video camera, we find the recording itself does contain and 
convey an almost euphoric optimism, this palpable intention 
to "engage a critical relationship with televisual society by 
participating televisually. 6 " And, in this newly self-aware 
moment of the information age, intervening in televisual so- 
ciety was seen as truly radical: a means of "allowing people 
to. ..shape and reassert control over their lives." 7 

Find a way to produce a record of your act of re-speech-a 
video camera, a sound recorder, a notetaker. If you don't 
own a camera, borrow a friend's camera, use a display 
camera in a camera store, find a surveillance camera. Use 
a toy or make a model camera to re-enact the process of 
recording. Repeat the process of speaking to your recording 
device until the experience becomes recorded within your 
own memory. 

We find ourselves back in the space of the monitor, consid- 
ering the recording's intention in relation to its outcome up 
to and beyond today. The People's Communication Network 
made a record of an event that might have only survived in 
the memories of audience members. 

On a fundamental level, to make a record of your speech is 
to use the camera as a witness, to "broad-cast," giving your 

act of speaking a life beyond any one person's memory. 
What will become of the record? You might also ask how you 
can participate in structures of archive, access and distribution. 



Our re-speaking is a re-making and a play-back of the re- 
cording, a performative method of interrogating video as a 
repository for memory and a technology of forgetting. 

My children, my children, I'm here today to identify myself 
and rededicate myself in the spirit of Marcus Garvey and 
our beloved brothers, who are incarcerated here behind 
these infernal walls, to meet the struggle on the behalf of 
our men who find themselves recaptured under captivity 

Queen Mother Moore faces the camera. Through the record- 
ing device, she faces us. What did it mean to her that the 
camera was there? Where did the electronic device and its 
promise of wide distribution beyond the walls of the prison 
stand in terms of importance, alongside the eyes, ears, and 
memories of the prisoners and community members there to 
witness the speech? Nevertheless, we allow that the tape tel- 
escopes out into a procession of memories: those of the pris- 
oners in the courtyard, the force of Queen Mother Moore's 
voice and gesture, the story of MarcusGarvey and the experi- 
ence of an activated audience at the Longshoreman's Hall in 
New Orleans. 

How does the "record" contribute to a kind of shared re-call 
- the construction and activation of collective memory? What 
are the relationships of collective memory and collective ac- 

Do we need the recording device in order to remember? BLW 
wants to consider the potentials and the limitations of this 
instrument, an efficient means of storage that has no breath. 
Moore herself has also created a record of the story of Mar- 
cus Garvey that she stores in and transmits through her body. 
What capacities of agency and speech did Queen Mother 
Moore, demonstrate if we consider her as the "recording de- 
vice," the material vehicle (medium) to hold and re-tell the 
memory of Marcus Garvey at the Longshoreman's hall? What 
capacities are lost in the act of transferring the laborious 
tasks of memorization and recitation over to video and other 
recording devices? And then, what can we do about mortal- 
ity? If we were to lose our technological tools-our memory 
prosthetics, can we develop the capacity and commitment to 
carrying each other's words forward into time? 

Two years after beginning this study, BLW evaluates the 
project; what have we learned? And what can someone 
else discover from acts of re-speaking? We find ourselves 
more sensitive to the speech acts of others, to all attempts 
at oratory. We speculate that we ourselves have become 
more skilled at speaking, and that there is, in the debates 
and discomfort that re-speaking triggers, a key toward the 
formation of a parrhesiac (outspoken and truthful) politi- 
cal subjectivity. We are certain this is a great way to learn 
history. And yet, our research is still inconclusive and so we 
invite you wholeheartedly to add sources for re-speaking and 
records of your experience into the mix. 

We are surrounded by stories; what kinds of stories can we 
find that should be told and retold for the way they assist 
acts of transference and empowerment? And what stories 

can we find that, by being told and retold, will produce col- 
lective recall, a gathering memory of what we need to do, 
and how we might learn to act together? 


1. A kit, referenced here as a set of articles, tools, or equip- 
ment used for a particular purpose: or parts, which implies a 
state of incompleteness that you, the user, the reader, can "put 
together," activate, and make use of. (back) 

2. In some cultures, educational canons included speaking by 
rote, as a way of linking elocution with tradition. In other cul- 
tures, to speak out is to leap across a chasm of learned and 
lonely silence, (back) 

3. Moore's words emerge from her life of being there, forging 
a connection between the moment of Garvey's speech in 1920 
New Orleans and this moment in an upstate New York prison 
fifty-three years later, (back) 

4. Following the Attica prison protests in 1971, many inmates 
were transferred to Green Haven and likely comprised part of 
Queen Mother Moore's audience. Reform efforts led by a coa- 
lition of prisoners and academic activists at this prison are 
ongoing, (back) 

5. The videotape was stored at Antioch College in an alterna- 
tive library maintained on the campus "as a resource for radi- 
cal and progressive thinking." The maintenance of this library 
for potentially marginalized records is an important part of a 
larger network of commitment to outspokenness. Over three 
decades passed before the tape was found and restored by 
the Video Data Bank in Chicago, who now distributes it. BLW 
encountered the video at Pilot-TV in Chicago in 2004, where it 
was presented by Dara Greenwald, an artist and activist who is 
also interested in public memory and the video record, (back) 

6. Hill, Chris, "Performing Video in the First Decade, 1968- 
1980," Video Data Bank, (back) 

7. Korot, Beryl and Gershuny, Phyllis, Radical Software 1/1, 
Table of Contents, (back) 




(In 1973, a prisoners' group called Think Tank coordinated 
efforts with the African- American community outside the 
prison walls to invite civil and labor rights activist Queen 
Mother Moore to speak at Greenhaven Prison Community 
Day. The People's Communication Network video collective 
recorded the speech. This excerpt was transcribed from a 
tape which has been preserved by the Video Data Bank in 
Chicago. "Queen Mother" Audley Moore (1898-1997) was an 
organizer, activist, and theorist who challenged racist oppres- 
sion and imperialism through a huge number of diverse cam- 
paigns from workplace safety to the drive for reparations for 
descendants of US slaves.) 

My children, I'm here today to identify myself and rededi- 
cate myself in the spirt of Marcus Garvey and our beloved 
brothers who are incarceratedhere behind these infernal 
walls to meet the struggle on the behalf of our men who find 
themselves recaptured under captivity. 

Marcus Garvey came at a time when we needed him. When 
we had been taught that we were black because we were 
cursed, Marcus Garvey was he one that taught us from the 
very beginning black is beautiful. 
It's beautiful to be black. He taught us our history. 

Marcus Garvey taught us about Africa. He taught us about 
the great people of Africa, the great cultures that we had in 

He taught us about the wealth of Africa, He taught us how 
the white people were living off of our wealth. He taught us 
about the gold mines and the diamond mines and the great 
forests and the fine animals and all of the wealth that we 
had, the great great resources in the land. 

Marcus Garvey taught us what they had robbed from us, and 
to think and to speak in terms of robbery, I want our young 
brothers here, who have been incarcerated here for perhaps 
in a small, in a very small way, taking back what was taken 
from us. 

You couldn't steal brothers you cant steal you cant steal 
from a white man, all that you can do take back from him. Its 
all you can do because everything that he's got- everything, 
everything the white man has, everything, he stole it from 
you. Everything, he stole it from you. 

You are not the criminals. You are not the criminals. 
I'd like to ask you, have you stolen anybody's heritage? Have 
you stolen children from their mothers and sold them on the 
slave block? 

Have you stolen wealth from the land and have you stolen 
whole countries? I wanna show you- You haven't been steal- 
ing no you haven't been stealing. I wanna tell you have you 
taken mothers and strung them up by their heels? And took 
your knives and slit their bellies so that their unborn babies 
could fall to the ground and then took your heel and then 1 - 1 - 1 
crushed that baby into the ground? Brothers you are notjjj^ 
murderers, you've never murdered. q 

True some of you have killed but you're not murderers. ^ 
Have you dropped bombs on people and killed whole coun-, , i 
tries of people. No. Have you done that people? Na uh.uj 
Some of you have tried in a small way to imitate these gang- ZD 
sters, O 
But you haven't. No you're not the gangsters. 


Brothers We came here to tell you to come home to us. We 
want you. We came here to invite you and to let you know, 
that you are not alone and to let you know that you have o> 
brothers and sisters who are waiting for you and who are in- 
fighting for your return and who are preparing places to re-_^ 
ceive you. 


And we don't want you to feel rejected. You've been rejected o 
out of the man's society. But you are not rejected out of 
black society. c 




You see. 

Some of you believe that those of us in the south and I came 
from way way way south, but some of you believe that we ^ 
were cowards down there. \ 


I wanna give you a little example of the story of Marcus o 
Garvey. ^ 
I wanna tell you something that nobody else could tell you-Q 
who hadn't lived long enough to be here today to experience > 
this to tell you. ^ 
Those who were there. ^ 

Down in New Orleans when the police told Marcus Garvey^ 
he couldn't speak to us, and prevented him from coming^ 
to speak to us one night. We of course went in delegations °- 
and everything and raised such a ruckus that they had to let -■ — • 
Marcus Garvey speak to us the next night. - c 
But when we went. I want you to hear me. 
When we went, we went determined that nothing would stop 
Marcus Garvey from speaking to us. Now how did we do 

How do you go determined to keep the powers that be from 
preventing your leader from speaking to you. How do you 
do that? 

Well I'll tell you how we did it. Everyone of us including 
myself went armed. We went armed. I had two guns on me. 
I had. I had one in my bosom and one in my pocketbook. 
Blue steel and special. Pearl handle. 
Pearl handle. I'll never forget my little pearl handle gun. 

You think you're bad huh. Some of you think your bad. We 

went. Brothers and sisters do you think we went there with 

a round of ammunition. 

No we went with handbags of ammunition. 

Everybody had handbags of ammunition. We used to call 

them satchels thatchels of satchels. Ammunition. 



Now when the police came then they filed in our hall and 
they lined up against all the sides of the benches, came to 
the front, lined up the side of the rostrum, line up the other 
sides, lined the back. 

When Garvey came in we was on benches just like you sitting 
now in the Longshoremen hall. We stood up, you know and 
applauded him. 

Garvey said, 

"My friends, I wish to apologize to you for not speaking to 
you tonight but the reason I didn't speak to you is because 
the mayor of the city of New Orleans permitted himself to 
be used as a stooge by the Police Department to keep me 
from speaking. " 

When he said that the police jumped up on the sides, on 
the rostrum and said I'll run you in. When he did that, 
everybody stood up on the benches. All of the Smith and 
Wesson's, the Winchesters came out. 

Everybody's gun came out, and this is what they said, 
"Speak, Garvey speak. Speak, Garvey " with the guns in 
their hands. "Speak Garvey speak. " 

And Garvey said, "as I was saying." 

BLW is an artist-activist collective that investigates 
ways to recover the power of speech in a culture where 
oral competence is displaced by media forms. 
Re-enactments of archived recordings also include the 
1969 interview of Fred Hampton recorded by the 
Videofreex in Chicago. Moving beyond re-enactment to 
the production of sites for engaged speaking and 
exchange, recent projects include "Invitation to a 
Hearing] a public hearing produced in collaboration 
with Think Tank at the ICA in Philadelphia, "A Meeting 
is a Question Between, "a week of public meetings at 
Millenium Park, Chicago, and "Fragments of a Strike, " 
a series of participatory readings from the 5-month 
San Francisco State student walkout in 1968-9. BLW is 
Rozalinda Borcila, Sarah Lewison, and Julie Wyman. 
Contact: borcila(at) 

this text was first published in The Journal of 
Aesthetics and Protest #5, 2007 (Los Angeles) 


AS OF 2099 

PI I remember that the zones were distinguished 
from one another somehow on symbolic levels. That 
there was an incredibly complex system of representa- 
tion which would designate which zone you belonged to 
and lived in. You mentioned these certificates already, 
with relation to what P4 hinted at- in your recollec- 
tions, were there any other important manifestations 
of these divisions P2 described, that you could point 
us to? 

P2 another indication of this complex relation- 
ship between the structure and its manifestation was 

P3 ...which was a way to symbloise economic rela- 

P2 basically each country, well, many countries had 
individual currencies (which was what the system of 
money was called) and those countries that were less 
dominant on the world market, which maybe had less 
resources, or weren't as developed as other countries, 
well their currency had less value than that of more 
powerful zones. 

P4 this also inhibited movement, because people 
with less money were less desirbable, they couldnt 
offer as much to a zone if they were trying to move 
there, if they didnt have a job or if they werent rich 
enough, any zone would see them as a burden. 
PI so this again shows a powerful link between the 
concepts and their physical and concrete symbols...? 
P4 yeah, but beyond a representational level, these 
geographical zones also differed because they were 
somewhat closed systems- within which a certain law, 
currency, language was contained- so this meant that 
each such zone would consider themselves different 
from any other zone, and maintain this difference not 
only via symbolic means, but also by trying to become 
"richer" than other countries. 
PI "rich" was when a zone or person or group had a 
lot of assets, things that other people could want or 
need- then they could exchange these goods or con- 
cepts with symbolic units (money). 
P4 that economy didn' t just work on an individual 
level, it also worked globally... 
P5 if people from poorer economies (with less finan- 
cial capital) wanted to move to richer countries, this 
was often not allowed 

P3 because they were seen as having nothing to of- 

P5 if they couldnt contribute enough they were seen 
to drain rewsources. these people lived precariously, 
and often ended up doing work that other people didnt 
want to do. 

PI i've been going through the archive and came 
across a lot of representations of every day life which 
seem to stem from what used to be called the "west", 
i think, i found that a lot of these images- film as well 
as print images- showed the more stable zones as a 
kind of center of the world and life. In these images, 
life in the center appears incredibly plentiful and 
happy and beautiful somehow... 
P4 yeah, these were the images that were distributed 
around the globe, showing how great it was to be in 
these zones, to live there. 

P2 i was living that time in europe, which was a kind 
of alliance of economically well to do zones, and each 
day i was confrotned with these images, showing me 
what my life should look like... this created an incred- 
ible feeling of lack, like: if your life did not resemble 
these images, you felt out of place, but not everyone 
lived happily, not even, or particularly not, in the 
wealthy zones, i remember there were huge disparities 

within privileged areas, in terms of peoples standard 
of living and health and all. even a single street could 
have houses that resembled those from so-called "hol- 
lywood movies" alongside what was called "council 
housing", still, generally there was a certain way of 
representing this life in what used to be called the 
"west" in a pretty favourable way. in contrast to the 
glorifying representations, the majority of images of 
the poorer nations or zones were showing war and de- 
struction, and abject misery, saying that people were 
longing for a better life there, that might have been 
ture but the reasons for that lack of good life were 
never addressed- like colonialism and the way it was 
kept on going even in the 21st century. 
P2 at the same time, you felt that you had so much 
compared to the people living in disfavoured countries, 
that you felt guilty for wanting change, for wanting to 
exit that supposed happiness, it was quite difficult 
to find a way out of that way of thinking, as far as i 

PI it took a while to learn to reason with that, yes... 
P5 you had the impression that people were longing 
for a better life? 

PI i'd say people were quite alienated from them- 
selves and from each other, they were longing to stop 
that, but it was hard to figure out how, especially when 
confronted with these images which glorified the kind 
of life you could have lived. 

Al it sounds like people had an odd relationship to 
their desires, and so also to each other... i don't get it 
entirely, was it some kind of... premature alienation... 
perhaps? not in the contemporary sense of alienation, 
not like xenosophy, but like a slightly perverse ver- 
sion of that? or how would you relate this alienation to 

P2 well yes it was a less sophisticated form of al- 
ienation, almost as comon as it is today, yet nothing to 
do with the way we live our otherness now. aliens used 
to scare people. 

[-] I I - conversation for radio/ 1 


PI ..i miss it 

P2 oh, you miss it.. 

PI ..i must say i miss it, feeling very ambivalent 

P3 toda.. 

PI today, yeah 

P2 socie.. 

PI i'm feeling very ambivalent about it, although 
there's very serious issues with the 21st century, i 
don't mourn, but i still feel it was an interesting place 
to live, interesting time to grow up.. 

P2 well, even back then i was already frustrated with 
the tameness of society, and i do feel that contem- 
porary society is amazingly tame- when you do have 
everything provided and you do feel that everything is 
nice, well, sometimes you just have to burn it down. 



PI yes, not enough destruction. 

P2 playing with destruction and playing with.. 

PI ...when you could still have amateurism, i miss 

P2 simple experimentation without having to.. 

PI ...or when you had to do a shit job then doing 
something for fun was like a real release, and now... 
doing strange things with electricity, you can do it 
every day if you want! and it's still interesting, but 

P2 the drive to escape and., boredom and frustra- 
tion was such a powerful motivator, and struggle did 
empower those people who could rise above it. the fact 
that most people could do nothing but struggle was 
a problem back then, but now perhaps we don't have 
enough struggle, so without struggle we don't have the 
need to go forward, and how much is our society now 
stagnated? we don't feel we have to fight for food, we 
don't have to stuggle everyday... 

PI i know, yeah, our children... they never had to 
worry where the next meal is coming from, they never 
had to.. 

P2 everything's nutritous, we've got rid of bullying, 
we've got rid of antisocial behaviour, we're all nice and 
good- but... 

PI it wasn't so easy in our days 
P2 it wasn't so easy in our days. 


P2 it is just... you know, you do have to miss the fact 
that we hadn't solved so many problems. 

PI yes and str... not struggle, but theres always 
something interesting going on when things are fucked 
up. being fucked up essentially drives... not progress, 
because that's again a very 21st century term, but it 
drives., it dirves imagination, when the needs are ex- 
treme, then the ingenuity and the intensity of peoples 
communication, of working together is much more 
interesting, and you can't really create that artificially, 
and the historical events, you know, the needs that 
are driven by cataclysms of various sorts are always 
intense and interesting and complex and i don't think 
that there is any way of recreating those artificially. 


P3 i found this intriguing term a lot in the archives, 
"intellectual property", and though property in itself 
is a concept i didn't grow up with, having been born 
in the 22nd century, i read up on that and can still get 
the idea, i think, but "intellectual property"? 

P2 nobody knew what it was back then, except some 
people felt they could profit from it- 
Pi i think it's- i can't remember what it was, it 
was... it never quite made sense at the time and i still 
don't quite understand what it was. i think it... pete, 
can you explain this? 

P2 some people got to claim ownership of "ideas", 
and therefore those ideas were owned by them, and 
owned by them in a way which claimed no one else 
could use them... 

PI yeah, it was a very peculiar thing, it was a very 
very... i mean... people claiming ownership of non- 
diminishable resources, which doesnt have any rela- 
tionship to the cost of exchange- you could reproduce 

an idea as many times as you want and you wouldn't 
really lose anything from it, in fact, you have most to 
gain from it, but- 
Pi? -back then we didnt know that. 

PI i mean that was really the e... i mean that was 
really the beginning of the e... when that system dis- 
integrated in the early 21st century, that was when it 
became obvious that all the other systems of resource 
distribution were also going to be coming apart, be- 
cause once it was clear that that really didnt make any 
sense economically, when you looked at the problems 
you were trying to solve with economic systems, pro- 
tecting ideas from exploitation by anybody who wanted 
them just didnt make any sense... 

[...] -saul and peter 

C0UNTER-G8 (2007) 

Anja Kanngieser/Manuela Zechner 
June 2007 

Over a three week period during the end of May into mid 
June 2007, a variety of political and cultural events took 
place in anticipation of, and response to, the G8 meeting 
in Heiligendamm, Germany. These included alternative 
summits, workshops, conferences, plenums, art exhibitions, 
concerts, and of course demonstrations and protests. 

Two of these events, the summit: non-aligned 
initiatives in education culture and the Block G8 blockade 
action have, despite their radical differences, struck us as 
particularly compelling as they confronted correlations 
between speech and praxis in regards to self-organization 
and accessibility, and the discourses surrounding these. 

Throughout and after the two events we considered 
questions around recent conceptualizations of alternative 
(non-state affiliated and neoliberal-critical) organizational 
models and how these could be practically realized. For 
instance, how can other worlds be possible, and what would 
these require in terms of shifts in organizational strategies 
and alignments? How can ideas of horizontality and direct 
democracy function when put into practice in different 
milieus? What kinds of symbolic capital come into play in 
different milieus? What role does visibility play with respect 
to such events and how do they try to circumnavigate the 
problems emerging from a need to be visible? And how can 
we conceive of methodologies for organization that avoid 
replication of relationships of dominance, specialization, 
and exclusion? 

What we were specifically interested in was how we 
could trace and address the lines of coincidence and 
rupture occurring between what was said and what was 
practiced. We chose to investigate concepts that have 
gained momentum in recent years, yet are idiomatic in 
the rhetoric of different organizational practices including 
neo-liberal economic and social policy as well as critical 
activist movements: such as transparency, accessibility, 
collaboration, flexibility, and heterogeneity. We wanted 
to investigate how discourses around those terms are 
embedded in the organizational practices of particular G8 
counter movements that we participated in. 

This text presents a few of our reflections arising from these 
two specific initiatives, which we both participated in to 
varying degrees. For this reason we are only able to speak 
about what we experienced during the events and their 
immediate aftermath; what we saw, felt, and heard, and 
what evolved through processes of conversation with others 
that were present. In addition to these experiences locate 
our analysis in official documentations; calls to action, 
websites, flyers, brochures and media coverage to further 
locate our analysis. The research we conducted is therefore 
embedded in contexts that are necessarily highly situational 
and relational, and consequentially partial and fragmented. 

Much of this investigation was informed by dialogues and 
queries, by attempting to negotiate through and around 
tensions between theory and praxis, or rhetoric and action. 
While we would certainly not argue that theory or rhetoric 
in itself does not have the potential to create or intervene 



in events, our primary concern here was the practical 
realizations of organizational ideas designed to provide 
alternatives to dominant hierarchical and representative 
democratic structures. This focus on the very material 
aspects of the events and how they developed means that 
much of this text is informed by observant participation, 
which is in part manifest by an unfortunate (and perhaps 
superfluous) relegation of theory to a supplementary 
position. However, our intention with this text was simply to 
contemplate some of the structural mechanisms of these 
two organizing bodies, and to offer our initial responses 
not as conclusions but as impetus for ongoing exchanges 
on how we could realize alternatives to the exploitation and 
domination characterized by the velocity and ubiquity of 
global capitalism. 

A contextualization: the new 
organization ot dissent 

The question has always been organizational, not at all 
ideological: is an organization possible which is not modeled 
on the apparatus of the State, even to prefigure the State to 
come? (1) 

Both the summit and the Block G8 emerged explicitly from 
within socio-political and cultural networks concerned 
with addressing inequalities associated with neoliberal 
capitalist conditions. In concurrence to this, a concern of 
such networks has been the reevaluation and reinvention of 
political resistance, in order to shift away from ideological 
and organizational structures that replicate hierarchies 
culminating in dominance and exclusion. 

These new organizational models adopted by resistance 
movements (particularly those critical of global capitalism 
and economic rationalism) have increasingly developed 
over the past decade or so. Aspects of these have been 
visible, for example, since the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas 
in 1994, and spectacularly during and post the anti-WTO 
protests in Seattle in late 1999. This has been in part 
influenced by the acceleration of globalization, which has 
prompted new technologies and socio-political and cultural 
mechanisms through which activism has been integrally 
transformed. The Seattle protests inspired and shaped 
much of the protest actions in the succeeding years, such 
as counter-G8 activities and protests, specifically through 
its use of the Internet achieved a gathering of unexpected 
scale. (2) 

What denoted those events such as Seattle as indicating a 
paradigm shift in the articulation of protest was what was 
later conceptualized as the "movement of movements": 
the temporary convergences of multivalent disparate 
international individuals, groups and organizations to 
voice dissent against corporate driven globalization and 
exploitative models of free trade. This movement not only 
consists of protest but also incorporates counter-summits, 
World Social Forums, all kinds of networks, initiatives, 
activities and structures. 

What became clear in the Seattle event was the emergence 
of new networks and webs of resistance, which were 
comprised of linked constellations of participants and 
priorities united in response to the global inequalities 
created through neo-liberal trade policies and economic 
rationalism. These networks were predominantly established 
by independent factions in attendance, detaching 
themselves from the constraints of traditional representative 
parties and institutions. Critical of the operations of power 
in such structures, these networks manifest alternatively to 
the archetypal hierarchical organization or party models. As 
David Graeber notes, it is no longer about seizing the power 
dynamics of the state, but more about "delegitimizing and 
dismantling mechanisms of rule while winning ever-larger 
spaces of autonomy from it." (3) 

Unlike forms of decision making and representation 
reminiscent of sovereign governance, networks (as was 
clear in Seattle) do not have a leader; command and control 
mechanisms are fluid and decentralized, and are nebulous 

and open enough to be able to accommodate diverse 
interests and agendas within an aggregate focused on a 
singular target. The concentration on ideological affiliation 
and conflict is replaced with an intention to create different 
methodologies and forms for organization, participation (as 
opposed to delegation), consensus (as opposed to majority) 
and exchange. In this process, a proliferation of hybrid 
organizational instruments and techniques are constantly 
being tested and debated. 

For Michael Hardt it is precisely this network format, and 
the arenas opened up by these experimental organizations, 
that allowed different groups with different agendas to come 
into contact with one another in a productive way during the 
Seattle protests. Hardt argues that such networks replace 
oppositionality with multiple positions; the dialectic is 
superseded by triangulations of third, fourth and indefinite 
points of connexion. As he states, 

777/s is one of the characteristics of the Seattle events... 
groups which we thought in objective contradiction to 
one another - environmentalists and trade unions, church 
groups and anarchists - were suddenly able to work 
together, in the context of the 
network of the multitude. (4) 

Although Hardt's account here may be interpreted as 
somewhat generous, the adoption of the network format 
does actively move to transfigure the ways that activist 
groups and agencies relate to one another, to greater or 
lesser success. What is attempted through the spaces 
opened up by these explorations and re-imaginings of 
constituent powers is a re-invention of notions and practices 
of consensual and direct democracy. 

So how was this recent history and context of the global 
resistance networks manifest in Germany? (5) The two case 
studies we are examining represent constituents of these 
international alliances. Both proclaimed to be invested in 
realizing non-hierarchical organizational processes, which 
involved the deliberate concatenation of heterogeneous 
participants, new forms of action, transparent processes 
and open accessibility. 

The Block G8 blockade was instigated during the final days 
of the weeklong counter G8 program in and around Rostock 
and Heiligendamm. The larger program consisted of 
numerous demonstrations attracting crowds of protesters 
(around 80.000 for the International Demo on Saturday 
June 2nd; around 15-20.000 at the migration demo June 
4th), workshops, an art space, concerts and an alternative 
summit as well as opportunities for more informal meetings 
(6). Three camps were constructed for the campaign at 
which action trainings, info sessions, plenums and social 
events were also held. The blockade began on the official 
inauguration of the G8 summit for 2007, on Wednesday 6th 
June. It was conceived to span the duration of the meeting, 
which it succeeded in doing. The blockade itself consisted 
of thousands of people sitting and standing, sleeping, 
dancing and generally socializing on main transport avenues 
to the meeting place. The event itself seemed to be met with 
great pleasure by those taking part and it was often relayed 
that the blockade had the atmosphere of a festival, which 
was strengthened with sound systems in some parts and 
a sense of solidarity and caring throughout. The blockade 
occurred in unison with autonomous blockades, however for 
many, due to the magnitude of the participants, it became 
an iconic event. By the end of the series of interventions, it 
became progressively difficult to distinguish the boundaries 
of Block G8 from many of the other blockading actions. 

The summit around "non-aligned initiatives in education 
culture" was an event held in Berlin prior to the G8, and 
may be seen as an attempt to organize a meeting in a 
context similar to the World Social Forum. This format was 
not based upon protest but resembled more of a congress 
or conference. It drew upon specific ideas, histories and 

discourses (e.g. non-alignment, summit, self-organization, 
un-learning, etc) which involved much academic reference 
and language. The three days of summit were comprised 
of 60 parallel events that included presentations, caucuses, 
and workshops. It was re/presented by a language that 
structured these as radical fora for exchange, debate 
and action. This was to become possible via access to 
large amounts of space and a gathering of around 200 
people from divergent backgrounds and approaches (art, 
academia and pedagogy, activism, union organizing, 
hacking, journalism, sex work, etc), the generous offer of 
spaces for those to meet as well as the availability of some 
travel grants. Through the presence and placement of 
various established academic personalities and a somewhat 
centralized way of programming, a dominance of certain 
discourses and practices emerged that seemed to exclude 
a range of more activist and grass roots approaches and 

What relates these two events in our minds, aside from the 
organizational intentions, was how certain characteristics 
of centralization and governance managed to permeate the 
actualizations of what were, at least discursively, promising 
speculations for practical mobilization and action. While 
rhetorically almost faultless, some of the manifestations of 
these sentiments left space for more to be desired. 

While both events were often pleasurable and 
provided ample opportunity for dialogue, learning and 
creativity, we find it important to analyze some of the 
tensions and contradictions that erupted in order to locate 
the quite considerable potentials of such endeavors. For, 
when judged under value parameters of success or failure, 
these initiatives become less interesting than when their 
internal mechanisms become exposed for reflection and 
further experimentation. 

Block G8 

Before and during the counter G8 mobilizations, which took 
place over a week in Rostock and Heiligendamm, extensive 
coalitions of affinity groups and movements were formed 
to collectively organize and assemble blockades designed 
not only to disable the traffic of delegates, workers, goods 
and services to and from the meeting, but also to make 
the breadth and density of the resistance against the G8 
and its mechanisms internationally visible. Comprising one 
segment of the larger weeklong constellation of counter 
G8 demonstrations, workshops and actions taking place 
in and around Rostock and Heiligendamm, the blockade 
was interesting to us due to its potential longevity and 
consequences as a protest action. Additionally, more than 
any other of the actions it was a direct gesture of mass civil 
disobedience, designed to sustainably reiterate dissent and 
resistance through the many diverse and not necessarily 
associated networks and individuals intending to remain in 
cooperation and solidarity until the objective of blockading 
as many roads for as long as possible had been attained. 

The predominant call for blockading came from an 
alliance of over 128 groups including radical left, church, 
environmental and anti-nuclear, trade unions, youth political 
parties, non-violent action groups and anti-fascist and 
anti-racist groups conceived under the slogan of "Block 
G8. Move. Block. Stay" (7). Whether this was intended to 
function as the principal blockade of the event is unclear, 
however what was clear was that due to the sheer quantity 
of different groups involved in, or supportive of, the 
organizing process and enaction, and the aim to blockade 
to function through corporeal mass over any other means, 
the high number of activists taking part (over 10, 000 
covering two major roads leading to the summit, with other 
autonomous groups blocking two other thoroughfares) 
ensured both mainstream and alternative media attention. 

In order to generate as much participation as possible, a 
number of calls for the blockading action were circulated by 
some of the organizing groups, including an umbrella Block 
G8 call, as well as from FelS (Fur eine linke Stromung/ for 
a left wing current), the Interventionist Left, and various 
Antifascist factions. Common to all was a particular 



evocative rhetoric of global solidarity, heterogeneity and 
liberation from ideologies of domination and discrimination 
associated with capitalist and state machinations. 
Assurances were made to radical and open modes of 
organization that not only acted to "delegitimate capital's 
domination, neoliberalism, and therefore the G8" but also, 
"ultimately implies at the same time to reinvent the left and 
the social movements" (8). It was also argued that the 
event would arise from new conceptualizations, as outlined 
in the Block G8 FAQ, 

Block G8 is a completely new concept woven together from 
our manifold experiences, incorporating the advantages of 
many strategies of various political traditions. (9) 

In order to look at how a relationship between a 
delegitimation of neoliberal capitalism and radically 
new strategic organizational models could be discerned, 
it seemed necessary for us to examine the rhetoric 
surrounding "horizontal" and consensual, post 
representative methods of social and political organization 
in regards to the Block G8 campaign, and directly address 
issues of flexibility, accessibility and transparency that were 
made visible. 

Organizing Block G8 

In their call to action, the Interventionist Left made 
reference to a broader context of political activism that we 
have introduced as inferred by the term, which, 

...since Seattle, has been called the "movement of 
movements". "We" refers to a global constellation of 
emancipatory politics that extends beyond the left, as well 
as the older and newer social movements. (10) 

Typical of the concept of the "movement of movements" 
and the resistance against global capitalism are certain 
strategies for cooperative organization and action. In 
analyzing the construction for the Block G8 event, we 
found it important to do so in the context of what is 
inferred by the "movement of movements" and how such 
a discourse operates as indicating alternative models of 
decision-making processes. As outlined in the introduction, 
associated with the "movement of movements" is a mode 
of political organization that espouses horizontality, self- 
organization, networks, consensus, direct democracy, and 
multiplicity, over hierarchical or sovereign models, and 
representational politics. 

Unlike previous modes of organization in which 
ideology or the party was central, this form of organization 
relies heavily on transitory convergences of manifold micro 
networks, individuals and affinity groups coming from 
different spaces of the "left" spectrum, from conservative to 
autonomist, under a common goal or intention. In the case 
of the organization for the Block G8, this was reflected in 
the diversity of the groups in support of, and involved in, the 
development of the campaign. 

Aligning itself with this conception of the 
movements of movements, the praxis of the G8 organizing 
bodies made attempts at overcoming some of the problems 
associated with previous "vertical" organizational processes. 
However, despite the rhetoric of flexibility, heterogeneity, 
horizontality, and non-representationality, it became 
clear to us that some material tensions and limitations 
nonetheless actualized and required further extrapolation 
and exploration. 

"This is what democracy looks like?" 

One of the catch cries heard resounding throughout many 
counter summit demonstrations in recent history has been 
"this is what democracy looks like!" One of the explicit calls 
by FelS was for "equal rights for everyone" (11). In thinking 
about this organization of dissent, it seemed to us to be 
urgent to investigate what some of the practical realizations 
of such sentiments might mean for the internal structural 
mechanisms and strategic processes of the Block G8 action 
specifically, and more generally in the context of a mass 
mobilization necessarily made up of singular and collective 

national and international players presenting polyvalent 
interests, desires and agendas. 

Like many of the recent mobilizations against state 
institutions and political summits, a preoccupation with 
global networking and solidarity meant that a significant 
number of international actors participated in the counter 
G8 interventions. According to reflections from a debriefing 
session held in London in late June 2007, this was 
estimated to be around 30 percent. This percentage was 
comprised largely of European activists but also included 
activists from the Asia Pacific region, Africa, North America, 
South America and Canada. 

The presence of international actors in the 
later stages of the decision-making procedures with 
no tangible prior involvement exposed an element of 
disjunction. The fact that the organizational process had 
begun far in advance of the counter G8 events meant that 
as international participants with no access to previous 
meetings, our first instance of contact with the action 
committee occurred either shortly before leaving for the 
protest or a few days later during discussions held at the 
camps (specifically Reddelich). 
These plenums were held frequently on the days directly 
preceding the action, at an even accelerated rate on the day 
before the event and primarily consisted of interlocutors or 
spokespeople from each affinity group coming together to 
apparently consolidate logistical aspects of the action and 
to act as information carriers between the macro and micro 
networks and collectives. 


After conversing with a number of people involved in the 
meetings as members of affinity groups, participants of the 
actions, and through different debriefing forums, certain 
apprehensions were brought to light, surrounding issues of 
flexibility, heterogeneity and transparency. 

Because of the specific geographical location of 
the organizing committee (based in Germany), many of the 
international actors were absent for the long term planning 
of the blockade. When it became possible to engage in 
discussion, the procedural operations and forums in which 
they occurred appeared to be fundamentally striated. 
Amongst a number of the people we spoke to, there was a 
general feeling that this inability to be active in the process 
led to an alienation and exclusion from the decisions that 
were made. It was frequently commented that it seemed 
as if the strategies had been rigorously predetermined and 
sedimented so that any attempt to offer suggestions or 
alternatives was, while met with hospitality and generosity, 
nonetheless basically impotent to effect changes. This in 
itself was not surprising, or even particularly unreasonable. 

Clearly it was necessary to develop structures and 
establish certain protocols in order to mobilize a sustainable 
and functioning mass blockade. What was difficult however 
was that despite the rhetoric of flexibility and horizontality, 
as international participants there was an impression that 
as a central organizing committee had been previously 
established, it was almost impossible to gain access to or 
intervene in the action process. 

Block G8 did not at any time allude that this would not 
be as such, and were in fact were openly supportive of 
actions occurring autonomously to their central blockade. 
Nor did they advocate themselves as the paramount 
action. Through all the disparate media they presented 
themselves as but one option for intervention. Despite this 
there was the impression that the blockade was to take 
centre stage, at least quantitively, and all other actions were 
destined to remain peripheral and diffuse. This may have, in 
conjunction with a range of other factors, consequentially 
become the case due to their sheer presence and visibility 
in comparison to other initiatives which was partially due 
to their necessarily high levels of organization and public 
recognisability (which extended to include a website, 
newspaper and other material publications, action training 
days, regular meetings, t-shirts, jingles, banners, badges 


In one debriefing issued in late June 2007 by some 
autonomists in Berlin, an acknowledgement was made that 
due to problems plaguing their own organizational and 
collective processes and to poor information infrastructures, 
a number of activists had ended up supporting and 
participating in the main blockade rather than constructing 
autonomous actions (12). It is also not unviable for us to 
imagine that other individuals, or affinity groups, unaffiliated 
or unfamiliar with the constellation of established social and 
political movements, were also spontaneously drawn to the 
Block G8 initiative, not only in solidarity but perhaps also 
due to confusion, lack of information, or experience. 

The intention of the Block G8 to be inclusive of 
all people wanting to participate in the blockading action 
meant that it was perceived to be a safer option for activists 
either less experienced in blockading or not desiring to 
partake in more aggressive direct action, which constituted 
almost the majority of attendees. Unfortunately this 
gesture was tinged with the slightly paternalistic tenor of 
the organizing process, which ultimately transferred the 
responsibility of logistics from the participating individuals 
to the action organizers. Throughout the calls the diversity 
of the blockade was explicitly asserted. As was written in 
both the Block G8 FAQ and the call to action 

The Block G8 alliance is composed of people and groups 
with very different backgrounds experiences. ..thousands 
of people from different political, social and cultural 
backgrounds can take part. (13) 

While the legitimacy of encouraging people from all 
different orientations and positions to participate in unison 
is not being critiqued here, what became apparent to us 
in the execution of the blockade over the two days was the 
assumption of a homogenization of interest and criteria for 
action on the part of the organizing committee. This was 
particularly dangerous, as due to unrelated and potentially 
unforeseen situations, the Block G8 mobilization became at 
some stages the most viable and influential option for action 
for many activists. This was signified by its population in 
quantitative comparison to other autonomous actions and 

In one London debriefing the comment was made 
that there might have been a sentiment present of "they 
[Block G8] would block people who broke their guidelines 
before blocking the roads?" (14) This expressedly highlights 
one of the downfalls of the high visibility (and hence 
allure), and the rigidity of organization that marked the 
blockade. Whilst espousing a discourse of diversity and 
multiplicity, it seemed that some participants felt as though 
once committed to supporting the blockade, a number 
of constraints or restrictions were immediately imposed, 
negating any larger sense of heterogeneity, choice or space 
for contradiction. What became apparent was an increasing 
impression of closure and finitude leaving some feeling 
frustrated with an inability to be differently (perhaps more 
actively) involved. This was exemplified during the blockade 
through the spontaneous caucuses held to decide further 
courses for action (which even at some points began to 
include core Block G8 groups), and in the flow of individuals 
and affinity groups between the main blockades and other 
locations, lending solidarity to smaller and more precarious 
barricades and campaigns. 


The tendency toward inadvertent homogeneity and 
the reactions surrounding closures in dialogues and 
dissatisfaction to some extent intersects with what we might 
consider as contradictions of transparency that were also 
present. As the Block G8 FAQ stated, 

It is important for us to create a situation which will be 
transparent for everybody. (15) 

For the Block G8 action, transparency was presented as 
a strategic means by which to not only mobilize more 
members of the public to support, and engage in, the mass 



blockade, but also as an attempt to gain visibility as a tactic 
for de-escalation of state repression. What becomes clear 
in analyzing both the texts and praxis of the Block G8 is 
that the notion of transparency is very nearly conflated with 
visibility and magnitude. 

Whereas media and information on very customary 
elements of the action were made available publicly, and 
while it was possible to partake in action training, buy a 
t-shirt, make a banner, download the jingle, or print out and 
distribute flyers, it was difficult to meaningfully participate 
in the organizing process remotely (despite the clear online 
presence of the campaign), and it was almost impossible to 
find logistical data: proceedings from meetings, information 
on quality and quantity of input from supportive and/ or 
participating groups, financial sources, and methodologies 
of decision making. 

The practical motivation for designating decisive facets 
of the process vague for protection against accusations 
of illegality and avoidance of state repression is not to be 
overlooked here. In Berlin and Hamburg, many activists 
were observed and controlled by police for months before 
the event, which culminated in a series of raids and 
confiscations of equipment and materials. 

However, the ambiguity (and even omission of) 
infrastructural constituents such as these also meant that 
some felt that integral information remained obfuscated. 
This extended to a more pervasive dissatisfaction when 
crucial information relevant to the action was not disclosed 
to all participants until the very last minute. Sharp 
criticism arose from some activists on discovering that the 
organizers had notified the police of the termination of the 
blockade but had not made either the termination point, 
or the negotiation with the police, public to all participants 
themselves first. For many, this culminated in a feeling of 
being non-consensually represented, and in some cases, of 
resentment and futility. 

The risk with making a claim to this sort of transparency 
is that it becomes easy to assume that an abundance of 
information signifies comprehensive disclosure. When 
organizing a situation like the blockades at a summit protest 
such as a counter G8 it can be tempting to speak of, and 
for the multitude, to speak of singularities moving together 
to create something new, but to reduce the thousands of 
individuals into a faceless mass who can be assumed to 
have the choice to participate, unthinkingly surpassing 
the reality of individual desires, experiences, knowledge's, 
suggestibility and insecurities and how these can effect that 

This unintentional overlooking of such factor's, 
along with other crypto-representational maneuvers was 
present in another event prior to the Block G8 campaign, 
the "summit in non-aligned initiatives in education culture" 
(hereafter summit), and it is to this that we now turn. 

Summit: non-aligned 
initiatives in education culture 

Summit was a three day event (24 - 28th May 2007) 
conceptualized by a group of six people involved in art, 
theory, and to some extent activism (Florian Schneider, 
Irit Rogoff, Kodwo Eshun, Nicolas Siepen, Nora Sternfeld, 
Susanne Lang). The promotional materials that were 
released in relation to the summit (texts and calls for 
participation, websites, posters in Berlin, printed program, 
flyers as well as interviews and calls on mailing lists and 
in journals) were written with attention to contemporary 
cultural, arts, activist and political arguments. The summit 
appeared foremost as a project that was inspired by 
theoretical propositions, discursive interplay and activist 
practices. It aimed to offer a framework for the relation 
of rigorous theoretical projects to initiatives in education, 
activism and art. 

In what follows, we will isolate some of the notions and 
phrases that were used in curating the event, and reflect 
upon the forms of action and organization they insinuate 

and how they came to shape the event itself. One of the 
main problems we aim to address with this paper is the 
relation and correspondence between discursive and 
organizational modes of setting up events or projects. How 
can the proposal of a discourse determine the facilitation 
of a project, and vice versa? Attempts to generate new 
concepts and forms of action took place at the intersection 
of various discourses. This raised questions about the 
positionality of those involved, the propagation of certain 
concepts and not others, and the distribution of power 
throughout the event. Our interest here lies primarily in 
looking at the vocabulary and theoretical framework the 
summit engaged and the way these assertions and ideas 
played out in terms of the practices of organization, hosting, 
collaboration, inauguration and sharing within the event. 


The use of the notion of collaboration in the context of 
the summit- much like with other concepts- was shaped by 
the prior investigations of its organizers, such as a text by 
Florian Schneider (17) and an interview with him and Irit 
Rogoff, in which he states, 

SUMMIT is definitely [sic] a collaborative environment which 
can be used in order to generate some more fragments 
of a contemporary theory of collaboration. The theme 
of collaboration intersects with questions of "interest", 
"hospitality", "seriousness", "curiosity" etc. on which we are 
planning a series of specific workshops. (18) 

From this we surmised that the organizing committees 
idea of collaboration is based upon a shared acceptance of 
different ideological positions and intentions, participation 
and negotiation, as is stated in several summit texts as well 
as the text by Florian Schneider.(19) 

The intention seems to be not to define 
collaboration as such but to keep elaborating on it, to see 
what kinds of contracts, expectations, and histories make 
for what kinds of collaborations. The means of finding 
this out would itself be collaborative. How does one set up 
an open collaborative project whereby not only all those 
involved self-authorize to collaborate, but also actively 
invest in and decide upon the course of the project? If 
we see collaboration as a transversal, open, consensus- 
based and transparent practice that is critical of its own 
organization and dynamics and dependent on constant 
feedback between its participants, we might examine this in 
relation to the organization of summit. What would it mean 
to open spaces for collaboration within a three- day formal 
and informal meeting before the G8? On one level it would 
mean making spaces that are accessible and self-organized, 
self- reflexive, self- regulating as well as connected to 
current political events, debates and activist strategies. The 
notions structuring the event would have to be proposed as 
open guidelines. The summit set out to facilitate this via an 
open internet platform that was accessible some months 
prior to the event, where the shaping of both discourse and 
event could be witnessed and interfered with. An events 
program that partially auto- curated through an open call 
for proposals of activities was accessible online, and the 
suggestion of specific formats such as caucus, workshop, 
conversation and working group as much as the involvement 
of persons and initiatives associated with activism as well 
as academia, education, and art (see the summit program) 
seemed to reflect ideas of collaboration. Still that was not 
the end of it: if collaboration were a common framework or 
moment but not a shared strategic or ideological position, 
how would the summit constitute such a space? 

The question is: How can we find new ways of analyzing, 
recognizing, decision making and working together without 
a common ground from which to operate? (20) 

It takes common ground to bring people together for a 
"summit on non- aligned initiatives in education culture", 
and while the motivations and backgrounds of participants 
may have been diverse, the majority of participants came 
from the worlds of academia, art, critical theory, and to 
some extent activism (people involved in all kinds of radical 

practices). We would locate one of the biggest problems 
of summit in the fact that the most common link between 
participants was Goldsmiths College London (specifically 
the Visual Cultures department), with which a large part of 
the contributors and attendants were affiliated (three people 
from the facilitating committee came from Visual Cultures 
department). This came to appear to us as problematic 
insofar as the idea of non- alignment (which will be further 
examined) insinuated that this would either have to be 
avoided or directly addressed. 

The last night at the summit (Sunday 28th May) witnessed 
the eruption of a debate around the representation 
of smaller as well as local initiatives, a felt imbalance 
between established theoretical positions and less visible 
activist projects or praxes as well as a questioning of the 
summit's engagement with the imminent G8 meetings 
in Heiligendamm and initiatives and actions that were 
concurrently happening in Berlin and elsewhere. During this 
spontaneous discussion, intense exchange and reflection 
on the event itself came about, whereby a wide range of 
participants and delegates became vocal and confronted 
each other as well as the organizers. Much of our critique 
draws on the comments and suggestions of those who had 
felt at odds with the setup of summit, as most visible during 
the final debate. 

The ways in which the hopes for an open space were 
disappointed were to our minds largely linked to the 
dominance of certain discursive modes within the main 
theatre hall at the HAUL The hall somewhat functioned as 
the representative site of what the summit was programmed 
to be. It was the only space with a centrally curated 
program, while the other self-curating events (one could 
register these up to the last minute) could be proposed 
on an open and on-going basis and were programmed 
into various spaces around the main hall (according to 
requirements for technical equipment which was well 
installed in cafe, workshop spaces, and foyers) as well 
as in two art-affiliated spaces nearby in Berlin (Bootlab, 

The program curated by the organizing committee 
featured a list of prominent names, no doubt of benefit 
to the attendance and visibility of summit, however the 
associated events often did not leave space for feedback 
and hence did not end with lively discussion. It felt like the 
various smaller self-organized workshops and presentations 
in other spaces were somewhat disconnected from the more 
prominent and canonical knowledge's rehearsed in the main 
hall. As a central space it attracted the largest amount of 
visitors while allowing for migration from one event to the 
other, leaving people the possibility to listen and join into 
talks in either venue- at the HAU1, there were mostly three 
events taking place concurrently, and the main hall could be 
entered and exited through six doors. Interestingly, despite 
feeling frustrated by the course of presentations there, many 
people still found themselves drawn to the main hall. This 
is not to say that there were not many fruitful conversations 
and meetings both within and outside the main hall, but 
the problem appeared to lie with communication between 
a high profile program and small events and workshops. 
Rather than in close exchange with the curated program, the 
smaller events appeared to somewhat orbited the brilliant 
discourses thereof. 

Particularly for those involved in activist practices, 
there was a sense of disconnectedness from the immediate 
local and political contexts (Berlin and the G8), where there 
were thousands of activists protesting, preparing for actions 
and running events. On day two of summit there was a large 
demonstration march against the privatization of education 
happening concurrently which failed to be referenced at the 
HAU and other venues. It was due to the apparent virtuosity 
of the main hall presentations that a significant part of 
the participants felt the main representative space was 
closed to intervention or other kinds of reference. Insofar 
as discussing summit as a host of collaborative processes, 
one might attest that the space for debate and questioning 
that would prioritize a reciprocal learning over a univocal 
learning only partly emerged. Achieving this further might 
have meant exiting the conventions and spaces of theory 




and art in order to share more diverse references and 
experiences. As often happens with ambitious events, 
visibility came into conflict with accessibility at summit. 

Self- inauguration 

How would the different participants and public respond to 
the proposals at hand, taking into account their differing 
backgrounds as writers, artists, activists, theorists, union 
organizers, students, teachers, etc? What does it take to 
self-inaugurate in a space such as the main hall at HAU1? 
Irit Rogoff made a poignant comment at summit about the 
kinds of capital required for accessing and participating 
in such spaces- the access to discourses and vocabularies 
(i.e. education) as well as the time (i.e. money) needed 
to participate in an event such as summit. It seems, 
particularly in the context of learning, a highly relevant and 
challenging project to open out a space for thinking about, 
debating and sharing our experience and engagement 
with the concepts of education, learning and knowledge. A 
central aspect of this must be opening up these fields and 
the connected sites as much as possible to persons not in 
possession of the preferred kinds of capital. The attempt 
to move learning and education away from the infusion of 
an individual with cognitive capital that counts on global 
knowledge markets (such as liberal arts education that 
caters to the Creative Industries) seems at the heart of 
summit and was debated quite a bit within and in relation 
to it. It appeared very hard to move beyond the set of 
canonical knowledge's that were proposed at the center of 
the event. While aiming to be open, flexible and accessible, 
discussions at the main hall required a fairly solid 
knowledge of the specific discourses at hand, as debates 
in this space were very theoretical. While theory must not 
necessarily inhibit, the way it is set up appears an urgent 
problem to address. 

In terms of the conditions for responding to any proposal 
and self- inaugurating in this context, transparency seems 
key, which in the case of summit was attempted but still 
complicated by the abstract ways in which the event was 
outlined and formulated- it was not always evident how 
summit was meant to function in concrete terms. Non- 
alignment, Self- organization, Self- authorization, Self- 
valorization, Self- inauguration, Collaboration, un-learning, 
un-organizing, urgent thought, making theory urgent, 
history lessons, etc were some of the terms structuring 
the debates and underlying curatorial decisions, and as 
proposals attracted much curiosity and interest. People 
came from many different parts of the world, with different 
expectations and investments. It appeared that at the event 
many felt unsure about inscribing themselves in certain 
spaces as contributors or vocal presences, because it was 
not clear what translation could legitimately be attempted 
between these "open" concepts and various discussion 
formats. While different investments and expectations 
seem to us desirable, transparency remains a key point 
when organizing an event that invites for participation, 
contribution and collaboration. The summit website offered 
a kind of FAQ section, answering five main questions in 
relation to the proposed vocabulary and call for summit: 

"Non-alignment" (21) 

The main question we found ourselves facing with respect 
to non-alignment was to what extent the practice of non- 
alignment, as used to describe the initiatives present 
at summit, would have to be rigorously applied to the 
organization of the event summit in itself. Considering 
that the event had been conceived in collaboration with 
large institutions such as Goldsmiths College/ London 
University and Witte de With/ Rotterdam, and funded by 
the Culture Foundation/ Germany, there was doubt as to 
how "non- alignment" could accommodate such support. 
The mode of non-alignment was of course not meant as 
a dogmatic or separatist stance, but one might argue that 
the aforementioned institutions can be seen as dominant 
centers for the production of particular discourses around 
art, culture and politics. Since it was the network of people 
surrounding those institutions that were prominently 

programmed into the main theatre hall, summit appeared 
as somewhat aligned. We wondered how hosting or 
encompassing other kinds of speech and initiative would 
be attempted under these conditions, and how familiar 
or established knowledge's could be superseded- as the 
proposals of "un-learning" and "un-aligning" indicated. 
If the question of (non-) alignment was to be at the heart 
of the summit, then its translation into open practices of 
curation, organization, facilitation, participation and speech 
was to be highly relevant to the success of the event. If 
the conditions and spaces for organizing and contesting 
this are not made extremely transparent, the alignments 
and relations between actors (specifically organizers 
but also institutions) can come to obstruct processes of 


The decision to run this event as a "summit" seemed to be 
based on the immediate political context of the time (G8), 
as well as a certain format of meeting and the roles played 
by its attendants: 

SUMMIT is neither a conference nor an informal forum or 
open space. It is designed as a gathering that borrows the 
grammar of the dramaturgy of meetings of heads of state 
- just a few days before the G-8 meeting in Heiligendamm 
near Rostock is taking place. 

SUMMIT is an experimental setup designed to find out 
what happens if individuals, agents and protagonists 
of a multitude of projects and initiatives come together 
as delegates but can no longer speak on behalf of an 
institution, an interest group, a professional organization or 
a branch, let alone a nation state. 

SUMMIT ignores the logics of representation and replaces 
them with certain notions of access, self-authorization, and 
collaboration, which we analyzed as main characteristics 
of emerging new subjectivities that are constitutive for the 
concepts of "activism" and "participation". [...] (22) 

To some extent, at least rhetorically, the idea seems to be 
to turn the exclusive format of a conventional summit on its 
head, offering the role of delegate to potentially anyone and 
setting up divergent spaces for negotiation and multiplicity. 
However the distinction between facilitators/organizers, 
delegates/contributors and participants/ attendants/ 
audience was formally maintained during summit. Prior 
to the event, the website encouraged people to register 
as delegates- which meant initially prompting acts of 
self-authorization at the same time as a representational 
framework for participation. 

In most cases, contributors as well as audience 
came in order to talk about a project, practice or group- so 
that an exchange of strategies and experiences could take 
place- however presenting themselves as individuals and not 
in the name of institutions. The typical summit- format as 
seen at the G8 implies varying levels of access and officially 
assigned roles, which was hardly what summit set out to 
reproduce. There were moments however when we could 
clearly distinguish a periphery or second level from a central 
space. The many attempts to break with this -on the part 
of organizers as well as participants and attendants- were 
partly fruitful, such as breaking with the architecture of a 
theatre (stage- auditorium) and proposing amendments 
to the formats as well as space. It however remained clear 
that it would be down to the facilitating committee to finally 
decide about the course of events. 


There seemed to be great potentials in the modes of self- 
organization proposed by the summit as well as within 
activist practices such as the mobilizations against the G8. 
Operating on a horizontal basis is crucial to such projects, 
and the creation of conditions for this to occur is a difficult 
task. Summit undertook various attempts to live up to 
practices of self- organization, 1) through making spaces 
for speaking about and practicing them, 2) through allowing 

for a part of the program to be non- centrally organized 
and remain flexible. The summit drew together a broad 
spectrum of self- organized initiatives for discussion and 
hopefully the various relations and conversations that took 
place informally as well as formally, including the heated 
debate on the final evening, can bring forth different links 
and collaborations that go beyond the three-day space and 
conditions of the summit. 

There was the intention of producing a jointly written and 
edited declaration at the end of the three days, which 
would, potentially, be presented to the European Ministers 
of Education. (23) The conflicts and imbalances outlined 
above led to a general disagreement over the idea of a 
declaration. Our impression was that this was not only 
because of the participants rejection of formats such as 
declaration or manifesto (and the representational politics 
this implies) but also because the event only reached a level 
of intensive communication amongst all involved at the final 
evening, marking the beginning of a broader debate about 
how its editing could possibly have been done and who 
was to be represented in such a declaration. The diversity 
of approaches amongst participants obviously posed a 
challenge to any efficient writing of a declaration, and 
consensus over the discussed matters was hardly achievable 
or indeed desirable after only three days and amongst such 
a large crowd of actors. The size of the summit probably 
accounted for many of the problems that occurred- solving 
these on site would have required enormous efforts of 
rearrangement and time dedicated to addressing possible 
infrastructures for facilitating joint discussion amongst 
some 200 persons. 

Aside from the idea of a declaration as a way of 
recording and condensing what had been said at summit, 
and as a starting point for a new project, there are 
possibilities of creating fora that may build on the process 
of bringing together initiatives in learning culture, operating 
alternatively to the commercialized systems of knowledge 
production and sale. There was a shared feeling about the 
urgent necessity to establish new modes of sharing and 
forming knowledge, as well as instigating and furthering 
platforms, databases or even parallel institutions that 
would allow for a collection of different case studies in self- 
organized initiatives, sharing strategies, methodologies 
and tools. Open source is one of the means by which such 
communication and archiving can become possible, and it 
is important that the way this is done be rigorously open 
and collaborative, with the aim of finding organizational as 
well as discursive models that can support such practice. 
The edu-factory, for instance, constitutes an attempt to 
draw some of the projects and research around alternatives 
to privatized and canonized education, and perhaps the 
summit mailing list will come to serve as a means to work 
towards something similar. (24) With all the parties involved 
in summit, there is certainly scope thinking these initiatives 


In this text we have examined only partial aspects from 
two vastly different initiatives that occurred in response 
to the G8 in Heiligendamm. Despite their radical alterity, 
both developed similar problems in terms of attempting to 
overcome problems of hierarchy and exclusion associated 
with centralized representative political models. During the 
course of the events we became aware of issues emerging 
from the replication of certain tendencies of models of 
organization they were deliberately trying to deviate from. 
These were broadly associated with logistical tensions of 
concretely manifesting discursive sentiments of difference, 
openness, flexibility, transparency, and heterogeneity. 

We recognize both the Block G8 as well as the 
summit as attempts to strengthen and further the neoliberal- 
critical movements and work upon modes of organization 
that can potentially go beyond traditional resistance. While 
both were problematic in their facilitation, we believe 
that there is great potential in developing these kinds of 
alternative methods for organization. This requires further 
rigorous and active contemplation and experimentation on 
how speech and praxis can function in polyvalent, sustained 



and transitory points of coincidence as well as convergence, 
so that perhaps theory can be made urgent in practice. 
We are aware that in many collectives and initiatives 
traversing different disciplines, interests, locations and 
knowledge's, viable and promising conceptualizations of 
organization are being developed and set into motion. In 
analyzing these two specific events, we hope we can help 
to widen the scope of reflection on how we actualize what 
we are saying in situations of resistance and expand the 
boundaries of these initiatives, so that we may collectively 
continue to make the possibilities of other worlds visible. 


(1) Deleuze, G. and Parnet, C. (1987) Dialogues. Trans, 
by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam. London: The 
Althone Press, 145. 

(2) For more logistical information on the Seattle protests, 
and its planning refer to Wikipedia 
visited 15 June 2007. 

(3) Graeber, D. (2002) "The new anarchists" in New Left 
Review (13), 66. 

(4) Hardt, M. (2002) "Today's Bandung - Porto Alegre" in 
New Left Review (14), 117. 

(5) For an outline of the G8 and its history refer to: Holzapfel 
M. and Konig, K. (2002) "A History of the Antin Globalisation 
Protests" Trans, by Nadezda Kinsky in Eurozine. [http://www.] 

(6) For a timeline of the protest events and its protagonists 
see Indymedia Germany, 
visited 14 June 2007. 

(7) For a full list of the groups that formed this coalition, 
see Block G8 (2007) 
php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3&ltemid=8, visited 
4 June 2007. 

(8) Refer to call from Interventionist Left (2007) http://, visited 4 June 2007. 

(9) See Block G8 FAQ (2007) 
php?option=com_content&task=view&id=44& ltemid=58, 
visited 4 June 2007. 

(10) Refer to call from Interventionist Left (2007). 

(11) See FelS "Call to action" (2007) http://dissentnetzwerk. 
org/node/2957, visited 15 June 2007. 

(12) From email circulated on G8 International mailing list 
(24 June 2007). Titled: [g8-int] autonomous evaluation. 

(13) See Block G8 FAQ (2007). See also Block G8 "Call 
to Action" (2007), 
visited 15 June 2007. 

(14) London G8 debrief meeting notes (15 June 
2007) on Indymedia UK 
en/2007/06/373692.html, visited 16 June 2007. 

(15) See Block G8 FAQ (2007). 

(16) "Summit: call to come forth and unalign" (2007) http://, visited 19 May 2007. 

(17) Schneider, F (2006) "Collaboration - 7 nodes on new 
ways of learning and working together" on Kein. [http://www.] 

(18) Interview with Florian Schneider and Irit Rogoff (2007) 
"Intentions of summit: interview with Irit Rogoff and Florian 

Schneider" in Idea Arts + Society Magazine (26). [http://] 

(19) Schneider, F (2006). 

(20) Schneider, F and Rogoff, I. (2007). 

(21) "Question: What do you mean by "non-aligned"? 
Answer: SUMMIT sets out to propose and develop a notion 
of "non-alignment" which refuses both, the privatization 
and bureaucratization of knowledge and education. "Non- 
alignment" also means that we try to disengage from binary 
oppositions like "institutional" and "non-institutional", 
"public" and "private", "formal" and "informal" [...] 
Politically the term "non-aligned" relates to the "Non-Aligned 
Movement": an alliance of states that considered themselves 
not aligned with any of the two super-powers during the cold 
war. The term "non-aligned" was coined by the Indian prime 
minister Nehru, the origins of the "Non-Aligned Movement" 
trace back to the conference of Bandung in 1955." Summit 
FAQ (2007), visited 19 
May 2007. See also "Non-aligned movement" in Wikipedia, visited 
12 May 2007. 

(22) Summit FAQ (2007), 
visited 19 May 2007. 

(23) Schneider, F and Rogoff, I. (2007). Refer to Rogoff's 
comment near conclusion of interview. 

(24) edu-factory (2007), visited 
12 June 2007. 

Anja Kanngieser is a phd candidate at the University of 
Melbourne, Australia. She has been working on examining 
the intersections between aesthetics and activism, 
specifically german activist groups that use aesthetic 
techniques as a means of articulating their dissent. She is 
also involved in the future archive project, and works with 
installation and radio, 

Manuela Zechner coordinates the future archive project and 
works with Critical Practice Research Cluster at Chelsea 
College of Art and Design, London, as well as being engaged 
in various other collaborative projects in the fields of 
new media/ art and education. Her current work centers 
around archives, dialogical practices and future studies.,, www. 
criticalpracticechelsea. org 


days of diverse events at Chelsea College of Art and Design, 
where five graduating students collaborated to present a 
programme of talks, discussions, workshops and screenings 
that aimed to bridge art and activism and create a critical 
environment by engaging with many issues. 

25th-29th June 2006 
information at 
documentation of the collaborative process: 

Eugenia Beirer/ Robin Bhattacharya/ Jonathan Entwistle/ 
Grim Svingen/ Manuela Zechner 

The cultural/ creative industries 

The so-called creative industries are flourishing; in advanced 
capitalist societies, knowledge and creativity become ever 
more important for economies. The myth of creativity, and 
the idea of artistic independence and freedom play a large 
role in the recruitment of masses for production as well as 
consumption of knowledge goods. How do artists re-position 
themselves in relation to these developments, and wha 
might it mean to study at Chelsea College of Art and Design 
at this point? 

This 3-part panel session starts off an introduction-discus- 
sion of the cultural/ creative industries. 
Following this, there will be a presentation/discussion with 
Critical practice, a collaborative research cluster at Chelsea 
College working with open source (or FLOSS) methodologies, 
on their strategies of working within the creative sector, and 
how they view the idea of creativity in that context. 
The third part of this event will present Different systems of 
chaos, a film by Steven Eastwood and Anya Lewin, exploring 
alternative administrative strategies within an art school in 
Lithuania. After the 20-minute screening, an open discussion 
can take place, allowing us to reflect on our roles within the 
creative industries- as art students, teachers, practicioners. 

Art and the Market 

Contemporary art is a billions of £s big industry, catering to 
the wealthiest of society all over the globe, it can be found- 
wherever there is a market. 

From the instant-caricatures sold to passers-by on a square 
in touristic areas, to the galleries currently opening up from 
Shanghai to Mombai - works of art are the goods traded 
therein and so are a product like anything else. The only 
difference of art, is the claim that it is considered 'cultur- 
ally valuable' too, even if there is not a market to be found 

A discussion among current art-students and future artists, 
on their different perspectives of the art market, how to 
make a living in it and how to retain artistic autonomy in the 
eye of commercialisation. 

Free Market Day 

Monday 26.6. 09:00AM sharp: we assemble outside Chelsea 
College of Art and Design. From there we all take part in an 
active day dealing with issues of global trade and economy 
by discussing the idea of Tree' market trade whilst seeing 
consequences of this system for ourselves. 
After gathering outside Chelsea College of Art and Design 
we move on, by foot or by bike, to New Covent Garden 
Wholesale Market in Vauxhall. Here we will pick up food that 
is left behind - deemed unfit for distribution to London's 
stores and supermarkets. At the market we will witness the 
dumping of large amounts of food. We would like to crea- 
tively explore, document and express our experience on this 
day! Digital cameras and other equipment and material will 
be made available to the participants to produce text, im- 
ages or drawings or even performances- it is up to you! 
From New Covent Garden Market we will return to Chelsea 
College of Art to collectively wash and prepare the food in 
the gallery space. We will share the prepared meal and en- 
gage with issues that has come up during the day. After the 
meal we will all help each other to clean up. 
After this, the group can freely disperse, but will be invited 
back for an informal screening/exhibition of images and 
other work produced during the day. 



The commercialisation of education 

What does a successively trade-driven approach to educa- 
tion mean for learning/ teaching within educational institu- 
tions, and how does it relate to our experiences at Chelsea 
college of Art? What do/can Unions do, and how do we 
address these issues? 

In a first panel, representatives of NATFHE and PCS present 
their Unions' work and speak about the role of Unions in 
contemporary society and educational frameworks. Follow- 
ing this, we jointly discuss questions that arise. 
The aim of the second panel is to increase transparency 
regarding the financial administration and hierarchical 
structure within Chelsea College. A finance administrator/ 
manager from the institution is to give a presentation of 
structures/flows within the College. If they decline, thosep- 
resent engage in a speculative drawing session, trying to 
represent the (imagined) hierarchies within our educational 
institution/s. The work created will be exhibited during the 
degreeshow. The third session will engage all those present, 
in conjunction with the University of the Arts Students 
Union, in a discussion about learning within contemporary 
educational frameworks. 

Revolution vs. The Movement vs. The 
Network?? ■ a history of resistance. 

You are invited to take part in a discussion about political 
and social activism in the digital domain. 
Where do the diverse forms of popular political initiatives 
that exist online (such as REVOL.TV), connect with grass- 
root political activity? How do they relate to the wider 'move- 
ments for social change' and what is their historical context? 
We are going to talk about our experiences and would love 
to learn from you. Please come down for an informal talk 
that might end up being just as much about creating new 

Critical Survey Workshop 

Letting 100 questions drawn up by Karl Marx' for a french 
worker inquiry ( 
works/1880/04/20. htm) guide us, we will arrange a 'critical 
survey' methodology workshop. We will introduce this kind 
of research in a historical context and outline our method 
for appropriating historical surveys to fit a contemporary 

The aim is to arrange for a discussion to take place and 
work with our generalized survey to create more personal- 
ized surveys by working with participants to alter our pro- 
posed survey to fit their particular life situation. 
The new surveys will be digitalized and posted for downloa- 
ing on our archive site and made available for printing in our 
Degree Show space. 

Participants will leave with material outlining a methodology 
for surveying their particular condition with regards to work, 
micro/macro politics and how power structures affect us 
every day. 

A Session with 'Critical Practice' 

The Chelsea College based research cluster ((Critical Prac- 
tice» ( 
cal_Practice) suggest that the construction of society has 
dramatic effects also on creative practices. This notion 
fronts their joint academic and artistic initiatives. 
We believe that our collaborative work for the degree show 
reflects similar concerns. We wish to create a practice that 
bridges artistic work and an active political life. 
Therefore, we would like to invite the 'Critical Practice' 
researchers to discuss the conditions of such a practice 
in light of our experience of the society we live, work and 
move within- as outlined in our proposal, here: http://www. 
We would like to raise the issue of whether it is still useful 
to refer to the artist 'form.' It seems to us that the super- 
structures of our societies deregulate this idea much like it 
seems to suspend other forms of labour and knowledge into 
insecure relationships with and within society on a whole. 
From a certain point of view, the tactics employed by people 
engaged in the creative industries in order to respond to this 
reality (as can be said to be exemplified by our degree show 
work) seems to have similar results as the artist 'form' is 
used only when it is effective towards an objective. 

We are inviting 'Critical Practice' to discuss this, get their- 
many views, attempt an overview of these issues and also 
look at them with regards to the institutions of the crea- 
tive industries, such as Chelsea College of Art and Design. 
Whatever form the event might take, we wish for it to take 
place in an informal setting open to the public. 

Collaborative behaviour and desicion 
making 'Gameshop' 

We will attempt to introduce a variety of material into a 
context of collaborative behaviour and decision-making 
processes. Through games and exercises we will approach 
these concepts in ways that ranges from the biological to 
the educational! 

Participants will be asked to engage in a playful, yet in- 
depth, workshop on collaborative decision-making models. 
Amongst other things we will play a repeated game of 'the 
prisoner's dilemma' and see what we can learn from popular 
education schemes! A 'gameshop' can be many things. You 
are invited to take part in shaping its content! 

Culture Jamming workshop 

'Jamming,' 'Subverting,' 'Adbusting' and 'Flash mob' are 
words referring to small or big creative subversive actions. 
'Culture Jamming' stands for the act of transforming exist- 
ing mass media into something that produces negative 
commentary about itself. Actions are taken on advertising 
industry, advertising campaigns, chain stores and multina- 
tional corporations, public/private spaces, TV. and consum- 
er culture... 

Culture Jamming originated in the Situationist International 
- an international political and artistic movement which has 
parallels with Marxism, Dadaism, Existentialism, Anti-con- 
sumerism, Punk and Anarchism and formed in 1957. 
At Chelsea College of Art, we will host an introduction to 
this kind of work, before we go out and on to the streets of 
London to commit, perform and jam ourselves. 
Would you like to find out more about this form of creative 
resistance and artistic activity and get involved? Feel invited 
and free to join us and share tactics, thoughts and ideas and 
contribute to making this a fun and meaningful day. 

Al-Qaeda as an open-structure organi- 
zation and idea-led movement 

Is the enemy in the world-wide 'war on terror', Al-Qaida 
(='the base'), nothing but a mythical construct? And its 
leader, the most wanted man on earth, Osama bin Laden 
is a ghost or the world's most powerful media artist? All we 
have ever heard or seen of Bin Laden are an audio-message 
once in a while and his rare TV-appearance in a self-made 

SOMA workshop 

REFRESHES THE PARTS capitalism steals from you. We are 
very happy to have Jorge Goia with us for this event. 
Goia explains: 

'SOMA is a series of physical workshops, which are basedon 
principle of self -organisation. SOMA is always conducted in 
groups with an emphasis on the autonomy of the individual 
within the support of the group. 

SOMA is concerned with the politics, not of institutions, but 
of everyday life. With so many blatant and latent repressive 
forces in society the search for your own health, pleasure 
and happiness can be a highly political act. 
At the beginning of the 1970's, SOMA was created in Brazil 
by Roberto Freire as a means of resistance to help people 
fighting against the military dictatorship. SOMA uses drama 
games, sound and movement exercises and Capoeira to help 
salvage spontaneity, playfulness, communication, creativity 
and awareness of anarchist organization where no one is 
boss. The body is the material to resist and create within the 
world. The pleasure of being yourself challenges the body 
forgotten, develops new skills and turns the capitalist reality 
upside down.' 

Past, present and future of collabora- 
tive practice at Chelsea 

The degree show of 2005 featured several parts that formed 
a collaborative effort of a group of students. Especially 
relating to open-source software principles, they created 





an environment for collaborative creative production and Ouo 
exchange. Several of us participated last year and, now ^ 
graduating, this year are trying to do something not entirely 
different, by collaboratively organizing a series of events 
in a shared space, thus challenging again the expectations 
towards a college degree show. The exchange of ideas and 
experience with the prior generation of students has been a 
crucial catalyst in our understanding of art education. 
This event is to look at similarities and differences, in both 
the processes and the resulting projects. Therefore we invite ^ 
former students and future graduates, to find out what we — 
have learned from each other, what same mistakes we made o 
and how we can avoid them in the future. ^ 

Joint effort - self assessment I 

The organizing group will assess the weeks' events and ^ 
learning experiences, and discuss future collaborations and 
projects. This is not a public event per se- if you wish to 
however, feel free to come in and talk to us. 












self-governing cluster of artists, re- 
searchers and academ ICS, hosted by Chelsea 

College of Art And Design. Through our Aims we intend to 
support critical practice within art, the field of culture and 

Register to contribute to this Wiki and join the Mailing List - 
they are the primary channels of communication. 

We recognize dramatic transformations in creative practice. 
Transformations instigated by, and a reflection of wider 
social, political, technological and financial changes. One of 
the most obvious affects, is that as artists, curators, design- 
ers or theorists, our practices, or their interpretation, or how 
they are theorized, historicized or organized, are no longer 
separate concerns, or indeed the prerogative of different 
disciplines. Currently, we are concerned by the threat of the 
instrumentalisation of the artistic field through the inter- 
nalisation of corporate values, methods and models. This 
can be seen everywhere, in funding agencies, at art schools 
and academies, in museums and galleries, and even in the 
studios of artists! 

Therefore, we seek to avoid the passive reproduction of art, 
and uncritical cultural production. Our research, projects, 
exhibitions, publications and funding, our very constitution 
and administration become legitimate subjects of critical 

All art is organised, so we are trying to be sensitive to issues 
of organisation. Governance emerges whenever there is a 
deliberate organisation of interactions between people. We 
are striving to be an 'open' organization, and to make all 
decisions, processes and production, accessible and public. 
We will post agendas, minutes, budget and decision-making 
processes online for public scrutiny; as advised by open- 
organization. org 

The research elements pursued under the auspices of Criti- 
cal Practice will engage with the various forces that are im- 
plicated in the making of art, and the increasingly devolved 
experience of art made available through art institutions to 
their audiences. 

We will explore new models for creative practice, and look 
to engage those models in appropriate public forums, both 
nationally and internationally; we envisage participation in 
exhibitions and the institutions of exhibition, seminar and 
conferences, film, concert and other event programmes. We 
will work with archives and collections, publication, broad- 
cast and other distributive media and funders; while actively 
seeking to collaborate. 

We are currently in the process of defining our aims and 


aims are broad statements of aspiration. 

Our aims are currently under revision, please feel free to 
revise them, we hope to achieve our aims by delivering our 

Critical Pratice aims to: 
Aim 1 

We will explore the field of cultural production as a site of 
resistance to the logic, power and values of the ideology of 
a competitive market. (Our political economy) 

Aim 2 

We will reflect critically upon, and act creatively within the 
contexts in which we operate - including the very conditions 
of our own possibility. (Our critique of form) 

Aim 3 

We will work as an open, collaborative and reflexive social 
network, while actively seeking to engage with others, (our 
method of research production) 

Aim 4 

We aim to ensure that the impact of our research is in 
inverse proportion to the energy consumed in producing it. 
(Our ethos of production) 

Aim 4: appendix 

This needs to be clarified as it could be read as meaning 
either that we undertake research that is profligate with 
energy and has a low impact(!) or that we do research that 
uses little energy but is high in its impact (which the Objec- 
tives goes for)... 

Aim 5 

We will return publicly funded research to the public do- 
main. (Our ethos for dissemination) 

Aim 6 

We intend to engage Critical Practice with Chelsea College 
of Art and Design, and sustain its presence as a supportive 

OBJECTIVES are the means of 

achieving our aspirational aims. 

A simple acronym used to set objectives is called SMART 

Specific - Objectives should specify what they want to 

Measurable - You should be able to measure whether you 
are meeting the objectives or not. 

Achievable - Are the objectives you set, achievable and 

Realistic - Can you realistically achieve the objectives with 
the resources you have? 

Time - How much time is needed to achieve the set objec- 

These, as well as our aims are constantly under revision, 
please feel free to amend and change. 

Our objectives are: 

Objective 1 

To practise creatively wherever possible - throughout the 
life-time of the cluster of interests that constitute Critical 
Practice - by engaging with public institutions, through us- 
ing open-content licensing, and Free Libre and Open Source 
(FLOSS) methodologies. (Related to Aim 1.) 

Objective 2 

To continually and critically peer-review our work, constitu- 
tion and practice. This includes our research methods, our 
projects, exhibitions, publications, funding, organizational 
practice and administration (Related to Aim 2.) 

Objective 3 

To evolve and continually refine procedures - eg our aims 
and objectives, our organizational habits - using [http:// Open-Organization guidelines 
where appropriate - for realizing our open and transparent 
working practices. To pursue a range of creative projects in- 
volving collaborative social networks; both for their intrinsic 
value and for the purposes of interrogating the organization 
and practice of those collaborative networks. (Related to 
Aim 3.) 

Objective 4 

To always avoid forms of production that are profligate with 
energy and non-renewable resources. (Related to Aim 4.) 

Objective 5 

To develop procedures for returning publicly funded re- 
search to the public domain e.g. sharing our knowledge and 
resources with others via the integration of research into 
teaching, through using open-content licensing, and by do- 
nating resources to Chelsea's library.(Related to Aim 5.) 

Aim 1: appendix 

We are concerned by the threat of the instrumentalisation 
of the artistic field by a wholesale internalisation of corpo- 
rate values, methods and models. This can be seen every- 
where from art schools, to museums and galleries, and even 
the studios of artists! 

The complexity and diversity of contemporary art practice 
has exceeded traditional patronage models of financial 
remuneration. The buying and selling of artifacts cannot 
encompass the complex mix of research, self employment, 
employment, underemployment, enterprise, continuous 
study and professional development that characterise 

contemporary art practice. Urn, we'd like to think about 


Aim 2: appendix 

To this end Critical Practice seeks to avoid the passive 
reproduction of cultural production. Therefore our research, 
projects, exhibitions, publications and funding, our very 
constitution and administration become legitimate subjects 
of critical enquiry. 

Aim 3: appendix 

We are trying to be sensitive to issues of governance 
Governance emerges whenever there is a deliberate organi- 
zation of interactions between people. Therefore we are 
striving to be an 'open' organization, and to make all deci- 
sions, processes and production, accessable and public. 
We will post agendas, minutes, points of action, budget and 
decision making processes on line for public scrutiny; as 
advised by 
We aim to be a flexible, social network of individuals or 
organizations. This indicates the ways in which we are con- 
nected through various social familiarities ranging from pro- 
fessional and academic relationships to friends, colleagues 
and casual acquaintances. 

We recognise cultural production as a fundamentally social 
and collective endeavour, beyond the particulars of ego and 
property - to operate on these particulars is to exercise a 
restriction upon creativity. 

We aim to work closely with our collaborators, sharing and 
discussing ideas and projects. Critical Practice considers all 
staff, students, as well as those not affiliated with Chelsea 
as participant and potential participants. 

Aim 5: appendix 

This includes sharing our research and organizational 
practices at every opportunity at Chelsea College of Art and 
Design, as well as making this research freely available to 

Aim 6: appendix 

I'm not sure what 'its' refers to in this sentence: Chelsea 
College of Art & Design or Critical Practice - both of which, 
of course, could be supportive infrastructures - so perhaps 
we need 'their' instead of 'its'? 




Paz Rojo/Manuela Zechner 

We are proposing a set of gestures here, that come in a tool- 
box. Or maybe a game. 

The vocabulary, as the starting point for a series of labs that 
take place in different contexts, offers proposals, ideas, ne- 
ologisms, choreographies, quotes and cues that hint towards 
possible relations, questions and strategies that inform the 
practice of the vocabulary- writers (in the case of the terms 
below, Paz Rojo and Manuela Zechner). 

We are proposing an experiment with the discourses, ideas 
and thought architectures that hold together some of the 
things we are currently interested in, in a rather net-like and 
puzzled way. We are interested in how language and concepts 
hold our practice together;and how our practice further con- 
flicts or holds these ideas in approach. We are talking about 
concepts as glue that holds the relations, spaces-in-between 
persons and things and systems, and are interested how 
go from there to movement, action and gestures and back 

She said: 

I'd like then, to move these questions into the territory of the 
performative. This is related to idea of production of knowl- 
edge. Well have the definitions, but also we have our doings 
to interrupt or displace their very definition or what they may 

We like to consider this as a manual for a response-able ma- 
chine. This manual will not offer you rules or definitions, but 
images, stories and at best scripts. It's written in plenty of 
languages and tongues which we tried not to master neces- 
sarily, but to incorporate in one way or another, and so the 
whole thing is prone to error. The form our experiment takes 
is that of a vocabulary-becoming-manual. The way to read, 
handle or play this vocabulary is up to you to decide. We are 
putting our game in question at the same time as we are play- 
ing it- you can follow us as we do this, and add your ideas. 

Vocabulaboratories engages processes of vocabulary- writ- 
ing and the translation of vocabulary terms into intervention- 
ist practice. The laboratories are set in arts and educational 
contexts, engage collective and singular processes of writing 
towards an online open content archive of entries that consti- 
tute attempts by different people to map the stakes they hold 
in different concepts or terms. 

The project is to be launched in 2008. The entries below are 
from an initial vocabulary as elaborated by Manuela and Paz 
in 2007: 


what does it mean to get on the author- ship? the author-ship 
is a vessel that ripens in a complex context of economy, cul- 
ture and psychologies., it is built in a type 5X1 factory, under 
hard pressure and with sophisticated technologies from both 
the new and the old ages. 

some of its key development stages, underlying discourses 
and characteristic movements are these: 

production of legitimacy via mytho-logical gestures: 

the genius, the source, the original, omnipotence and divine 


paper- technology; 

coincidence of the history of paper and the story about own- 
ership of ideas 

owner-ship technologies: 

identification of "self" with "own"- the self as in possession 
of ones own person (Locke and proprietary individualism), 
one being the master of oneself, consciousness as constitu- 
tive to claiming to be a subject (to own oneself)- hence intern- 
ment of the insane (dis-owning themselves of them-selves) 

technologies of authority: 

supposed protection of authenticity via enforcement of laws 
proposal for a different build of maker-ship: 
relational technologies: 

"mine" does not necessarily refer to ownership, but also to 

this is my pen (proprietary)/ this is my mother (relationship)/ 
this is my poem (usually interpreted as proprietary, but why 
not relational) 

collaborative methodologies for relational technologies: 
replacing "owning" by "owning up to"- belonging to, in the 
sense of sharing certain communialities and response-abil- 
ities, collaboration as a way of rethinking relationships in 
terms of caring and concern, not property 

countermovements to appropriative gestures: 

to affirm the self-created or self-acquired as property, hence 

as exclusively owned by the self, is a gesture of brutality, as 

it ignores and excludes a whole spectrum of other relations, 

meanings and and potentials, and renders relational own-ing 


see also " my" wife- brutality, patriarchy and the advent of 


authorship, authority and obedience: "gehoren" in german- 
latin: obeodire- to belong/ to obey- die frau gehort dem ehe- 
mann, der hund gehort der frau, der film gehort dem regis- 
seur- obedience/ control and ownership 

performative discursivity: 

not referring to originality but to performance- you don't own 
or create an idea of course, you do it, and thereby stand in 
relation to it 


— verb 1 work jointly on an activity or project. 2 cooperate 
traitorously with an enemy. 

— ORIGIN Latin collaborare 'work together'. 

what is the role of compromise in collaboration? collabora- 
tion as a working with compromise or constraint creatively? 
collaborations as a sensing and careful shifting together in 
relation/ of relations (people- people/ things- people)? what 
is the role of a common starting point, or degree zero, in 
collaborative processes? to what extent does collaboration, 
if posited as a paradigm or general principle, produce sem- 
blances of equality (within a working group), to what extent 
does it assure that distribution of power will be dealt with 
responsibly in a group? can/ should collaboration be regu- 
lated? how does collaboration relate to community, how to 
cooperative, how to collective? what is the relationship be- 
tween collaboration and democracy? (see also history of the 
notion 'collaborateur' during/ after ww2 in france, how any- 
one that did not resist the occupying nazi forces was seen to 
have collaborated with them) what does it take to collaborate? 
collaboration as an experimental setup enabling investiga- 
tion into democratic processes? collaboration as a model? a 
paradigm? a spirit? a concept? what role does affect play in 
collaboration, what role does language play? collaboration as 
engaging in imperfect intimacy? collaboration as shattering 
of centralized viewpoints (there can be no one "outcome"- 
no single result)? the suggestion of a strategy of multiplica- 
tion (of author positions) rather than of a substraction (of 
the author), if the definition of a collaborative project holds 
the sum total (or multiplication) of the desires of those in- 
volved, then the representation of it can also be as multiple 
as the desires, the form of relation between the collaborat- 

ing "group" and single persons is then one of synechdoche? 
synechdoche as a mode of representation of collaborative 
projects and their participants? what is the role of consensus 
within forms of collaboration? collaboration as joint thinking 
process (brainstorming..) as opposed to a process of pro- 
duction or definition? collaboration as enhanced exploitation 
of a set of cognitive resources; the think tank, the corpo- 
ration, collaboration as temporary alliance? collaboration as 
motivated by self-interest, not charity or sense of commu- 
nity? what is at stake in collaboration is the self, do we seek 
stability or continuity when we enter into collaboration? does 
collaboration "reach out"? if yes, to whom, in what way dif- 
ferently than a "collective" might reach out? what is the role 
of a common goal within collaboration? when can collabora- 
tive processes be said to start from a common aims? what 
are these aims or goals concerned with; a form of produc- 
tion, an ethics, a process? what use do corporations make of 
collaboration? can the corporation be considered some kind 
of antidote to collaboration as an idea? what is the relation- 
ship between collaboration and complicity? what role does 
the idea of non-representation of collaboration play- i.e. only 
process, no product a kind of strategy of invisibility, abolish- 
ing representation altogether? 


- ORIGIN Latin discursus 'running to and fro', from discur- 
rere 'run away'. 

what does it mean if I don't speak many of your discourses, 
your languages? we will have to translate, of course, as i'm 
not guest and you host, if we are both both, our foreign lan- 
guages will not upset, insult or alienate eachother... but serve 
as a basis for translation, and so negotiation. This will be a 
pacing back and forth between you and me, here and there, 
abstract and concrete, sometimes like couriers. 

Imagine-ability expectation and specta- 

spectator- from latin spectare, to gaze at, observe 

expect- from Latin exspectare look out for,' from ex- 'out' + 

spectare 'to look' 

spectacle- from Latin spectaculum 'public show,' from spec- 
tare, speculate- from Latin speculat- 'observed from a vantage 
point,' from the verb speculari, from specula 'watchtower,' 
from specere 'to look.' 

spectrum- from Latin, literally 'image, apparition,' from 
specere 'to look.' 

the possible image: what image is possible? 

to imagine: to conjure up an image, to speculate on an image, 
to look at a potential image. 

what choices do we make, in the space between the imagi- 
nary and the real? 

what kind of negotiation takes place between the potential 
and the reality of a situation? 

what kinds of methods or gestures do we use to draw a real 
out of an imaginary- to get from an idea(l) or a text to an 
embodyment, an act, or an image? 
we have to stand up and move, no doubt, 
but what criteria do we have for choosing that movement? for 
negotiating its correspondence to an imagined? 
how do we per-form an image out of the open source of im- 
agined and real? 

- when or what is the moment when we become able to pic- 
ture something, when we start to be able to visualize a future 

- what or who is imagine-able 

- what might determine the limits of a spectrum of specula- 
tion- the limits of imagination? 

- what does it take to pre-visualize a gesture or movement? a 
knowledge of conditions and constraints of a situation... 


- freedom is a psychokinetic skill? 

- the leap between words and doings- what is the transfer 
between the word or language, and the doing? 

what kind of potential do we address, when we create images 
and imaginings, of situations? 


- from Latin vocabulum, from vocare 'call.' 

-[-ary] (suffix) from French -aire or Latin -arius 'connected 
with' or Latin -aris 
'belonging to.' 

- sth that belongs to the voice. 

- the body of words used in a particular persons language. 

a vocabulary is something that belongs to the voice- to be 
precise, an amorphous body of words that belongs to the 
voice, similarly to the way in which a voice belongs to a body, 
the vocabulary belongs to a voice, a vocabulary is a set of 
specific words and concepts to become vocal with, when be- 
coming vocal, the voice acts as the medium of translation 
between text and context, it connects a word, a body, and a 
situation, it is constantly changing. 

i might ask; what does it mean for us to have these words, 
and to work with them? but aside from the question what 
does it mean to have a vocabulary, i want to ask: what does it 
mean to know ones vocabulary and translate it to eachother 
as well as into practice? 

i mean not just to know my vocabulary by heart, not only to 
have repeated it many times, half-consciousely, but to under- 
stand and be able to rehearse it, methodologically, critically, 
what does it mean to trace and describe the vocabularies 
and discursive fields we're moving within? what are our dis- 
courses, and where may they meet? how do we make this 
encounter? how have these concepts been set out before, and 
what hopes do we invest in them? What does it mean to define 
them, and to personalize them? 

I have a desire to understand how we relate to our vocabular- 
ies, without trying to construct a stable system of meaning 
or make a claim to truth. I want to see how we can play this; 
use words without referring to a supposedly stable system of 

We will make the vocabulary the very terminus of the situa- 
tion, finding potential ways of relating materials, questions, 
desires, images, conversations, etc, and then to see: 
what could this vocabulaboratorious translation of our ideas, 
hopes and desires offer to other people? how can we offer it 
to other people: vocabulaboratory as searching and arranging 
of a somewhat archival space, as outcome of a collaborative 
research and re-collection phase... 

[in progess] 






H — ' 














was conceived during a meeting in December 2005 following 
the interest to implement Open Source as an artistic strategy 
in the performing arts. One of the basic motivations with the 
"open source methodology" was to develop new ways of shar- 
ing knowledge and producing specific discourses within the 
performing arts in order to redefine the conditions of work in 
general and the parameters of exchange, to produce hetero- 
geneous works, to escape the restricted accessibility to work, 
and to deviate traditional conceptions of authorship. In a sec- 
ond step, after some text-exchanges and meetings at the PAF 
Summer University in August 2006, we (an open group based 
on interest) faced more problems and questions than we had 
initially started with. 

Acknowledging the gap between performance and software de- 
velopment, and therefore the impossibility of a direct transpo- 
sition from open source strategies to performance practices, 
we decided to rename the project "everybodys". By setting up 
an internet platform for texts and discussion on http://every- our interest then drew on an exchange of our works 
on a methodological level and on the creation of a database 
for production models. One line of discussion was to develop a 
Workshop Kit, encompassing tools and interview-games, which 
would facilitate discussion on our work. This Kit is meant to 
be developed by the ((integral feedback)) of usage, in order to 
enhance its possibilities. The Workshop Kit is presented on the for anyone to use and develop further. 

Why Open Source? 

The development model of free culture offers an alternative to 
"collaboration" in the conventional sense, which requires peo- 
ple to be in constant communication and to negotiate each 
step of the artistic process. Using open source as a model 
for exchange allows us to share each other's ways of work- 
ing, or "codes", without necessarily producing the same work, 
or even knowing each other personally. This is an alternative 
modality to the more typical means of exchange— i.e. geo- 
graphic and social connections through institutions or close 
collaboration. Instead, everybodys develops horizontal and 
asymmetrical paths for exchange. Moreover, the Open Source 
model provides a research tool for learning about each other's 
work methodologies, which everyone can then implement in 
their own work. Open Source strategies allow the work practice 
itself to be shared, and not merely the product; this provides 
an alternative to the authority of the artist's signature and the 
economic abuse of the romantic genius-artist image. Further- 
more, by cracking our personal "codes" of working, we learn 
how to fine-tune our own processes, creating more productivity 
and possibilities for work, which when shared have the poten- 
tial to affect the work practices of the global performing arts 

we will from now on use the root dictionary game to continue 
this article. 

«which everyone can then implement in their own work. 
Open Source strategies allow the work practice itself to be 

We strive for a multiplication of relations and of ways to af- 
fect each other, based on an understanding that work is the 
product of many varied influences, and thus cannot be evalu- 
ated in terms of originality. What the author of a work owns is 
the responsibility for a particular construction/combination 
of tools (methods, techniques, etc.) and items (actions, im- 
ages, sounds, etc.). This is a specific realization with a spe- 
cific aim. Everything that can be used to make a work can 
thus also be shared. 

Everybodys is an open-ended experimental practice that can 
appear in various forms, from web-site to magazine, from con- 
versation to writing, from performance to work-shop, etc. and http://www.everybodystool- 




Rozalinda Borcila 

Critical practice 

Economics are the method; the object is 
to change the heart and soul - Margaret 
Thatcher 1 

Welcome to the new consciousness; we utilize 
^ everyone - Lesego Rampolokeng 

o I was born in the early 1970's, the decade that would 

u m witness the annihilation of the radical left in the US, the 
wholesale withdrawal of artistic and cultural practices in the 

^ powerful West from revolutionary anti-capitalist ambitions, 
the mobilization of what appeared to be democratic 
consent ushering in the Thatcher/Reagan era. Welcome 
to neoliberalism, the peculiar liberal-colonial reduction of 

<\3 existence to its efficient management, become planetary 
governance with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the supposed 

^ final global triumph of capitalism. 

^ After surviving the 1989 revolution and the 

^ subsequent rapid injection of capitalism in Romania 
\ between 1990-1992, I moved to the US to study sculpture 
^ and performance. I would summarize this training as 
q_ follows: using the body as an instrument for the (re) 
^ organization of space. Over the next decade I struggled 
j= to develop a practice that would be performative in a 
social sense, in that it would be done collectively by a 
range of participants who may occupy different positions, 
at various relative distances, within a social process. In 
this sense the sculptural dimension engages the ways in 
which social practices generate different understandings or 
experiences of space. My work has attempted to interrogate 
the seemingly contradictory forms of spatialisation that 
characterize neoliberal globalization. On the one hand, the 
apparently 'undifferentiated', fluid space of capital. On the 
other hand, the concentration of social power, the violent re- 
inscription of borders, the increasingly rigid, unyielding and 
authoritarian forms of spatialisation and governance. 

The question such a practice must confront is 
whether it is still possible to speak of artistic interrogation 
or critique. Since the 80's, the aesthetic has been mobilized 
within the circuits of capital as both compensatory and 
preemptive: compensatory in the sense of philanthropy or 
'giving back to a payoff for the devastation of capitalism 
which must, however, never never involve a redistribution 
of material resources or control over the conditions of 
one's life and work; preemptive or deflective in the sense of 
managing the threat of systemic critique through aesthetic 
pleasure2. This is especially problematic in the so-called 
participatory, relational or community arts genres, deployed 
on a grand scale in the global art market since the mid 

An example of a specific work will serve to anchor this 
larger question, and hopefully to suggest some of the 
possibilities and limitations of critical art practice today. 
A few disclaimers are in order. Firstly, I am a resolutely 
amateur writer, whose practice is not discursive and who is 
wary of treating all phenomena and experiences as text (or 
which can be read as though they were texts). Secondly, at 
the risk of stating the obvious, speaking about space and 
producing it are not the same thing. Finally, our language is 
already spatial(ized) in ways that do not seem to me to be 
very productive (inside/outside, micro/macro, fluid/rigid, 
local/global and so on ). 


To be eligible for naturalization you must be 
a person of good moral character INS will 
make a determination on your moral character 
based upon the laws Congress has passed. 
The naturalization courts generally exercised 
wide discretion and applied an elastic test in 
determining whether the character requirements 
had been satisfied... 3 

For the sculptor/performer, the border as a space of 
power has a specific materiality and absolute coordinates 
which must be understood. But power is also located in 
relative and immaterial spaces (of access, distance, flows 
and dispersals), in specific institutional, corporeal and 
aesthetic practices, technologies and discourses, and 
in subjectivity. An artistic intervention is not an analysis 
of, or discussion about the border as a device of social 
power, nor is it intended in this case to make visible the 
wvarious components that constitute the device, according 
to often problematic assumptions that link increased 
representational visibility with political agency. Rather, the 
goal is to produce a certain breakdown and repurposing of 
these components and of the system of relations within 
which they operated 

The artwork in question is part of a larger project 
entitled 'The Elastic Test'5, which developed over multiple 
stages between 2002-2004 as a roving, location-specific 
interrogation of 'naturalization'. The idea was simple: 
to create poetic re-staging of immigration practices by 
examining the multiple dimensions of social valuation, 
as collaborative performances within specific institutional 

In August 2002 this project involved a group of 
art students from the University of the Witswatersrand 
in Johannesburg. These young people worked to develop 
three intrusive quasi-medical procedures, collectively 
designing them and then offering themselves as the first 
group of subjects. Involving the measurement, calibration 
and "tracing" of facial features and various body parts, 
and subjecting the body to physical pressures at the 
limits of its pliability and elasticity, the procedures were 
self-consciously modeled after colonial and Apartheid-era 
practices of racial classification. The project unfolded in 
Johannesburg in August 2002, overlapping two moments 
we considered of particular significance. The first was a 
national ceremony, televised live on Woman's Day, August 
9 th : the burial of Saartjie Baartman, following the return 
of her remains from Europe. The second was the World 
Summit held in Johannesburg at the end of August, which 
mobilized extensive programs to "sanitize" the city, as the 
Rainbow Nation prepared to cast itself convincingly as a 
player in the global economy. Thus, we were also concerned 
with the reconfiguration of systemic violence within 
globalized neoliberal capitalism. The performances self- 
consciously referenced the ways in which the (black, female) 
body is a site for both colonial exploitation and national 
emancipation, as well a vehicle through which nationhood 
is leveraged to forcibly open up new markets for the 
unfettered accumulation of capital. The symbolic violence 
of the performances -- entitled simply "Lips, Skin and Hips 
Tests" -- was conceived in relation to the political struggles 
on the streets of Johannesburg, as thousands mobilized to 
protest the predatory and speculative liberalization of basic 
resources and services in post-Apartheid South Africa. 

In 2003, I invited artist and colleague Robert 
Lawrence to collaborate on the third installment of the 
project, as part of the Mountain Standard Time Festival in 
Calgary, and it is this particular stage of the project I wish 
to focus on in this essay. We proposed the project to the 
Nickle Arts Museum, intending to transform the physical, 
institutional and social space of the museum into a border 
(counter)device. This would mean, for us, examining and 
repurposing the various existing constitutive components of 
what we would consider our 'location'. We would focus on 3 
specific aspects, briefly described below. 

In Canadian Immigration Law, the 'skilled worker' is 
a category of naturalization eligibility established through a 
point system, which determines the applicant's adaptability 
and economic worthiness. Human capital became important 
for us to explore, not just as a trope produced in various 
discursive sites, but also as a kind of subjectivity - we 
became interested in the ways individual and collective 
subjectivity operates within capitalism to produce the self 
as capital, as a speculative futures investment. 

The Nickle Arts Museum holds a significant 
numismatic collection, particularly strong in Royal Canadian 
Mint and Imperial Roman coinage. At the same time 
instruments of propaganda, imperial identity cards and 

tools for the homogenization/integration of conquered 
provinces, the links between coinage, power, sovereignty, 
warfare and symbolic power are complex. In addition, 
multiple contradictory systems of valuation come into 
play when considering the specific coins in the collection 
(insurance value, historical value, market value, artistic 
value etc) 

An art auction was taking place in the adjacent area 
of the Museum, consisting mostly of Canadian regional 
landscape art and collectively entitled 'Beyond the Beauty'. 
During the auction, the value of Canadian-ism fluctuates 
as different bids are made. We decide to create our 
performance as an intervention in the auction, exploiting not 
only the (presumed) privileged status of museum visitors 
on such a particular occasion, but also the relationships 
between the aesthetic and the national. 

Playing nice? 

In previous installments of this performance/intervention, 
I had engaged a range of co-participants and publics in 
interrogating existing immigration policies and social 
valuation tropes. In each location, we would collaboratively 
produce a performative re-staging of 'naturalization tests', 
which would be executed upon an unsuspecting art public. 
In its strictest and simplest form, a reversal was necessary 
- the strategic and poetic function of 'fucking with the 
powerful', (as one participant in Johannesburg put it), who 
would become subjects of often hyperbolized versions of 
existing technologies of exclusion, is not the purpose of 
such practice, but rather a crucial prerequisite. It became 
necessary to stop playing nice - and to introduce, in the 
mechanism of the evaluative performance, the question 
of empowerment and disempowerment as redistributive, 
embodied and shared. 

With a great deal of support from the Mountain 
Standard Time curators, Robert and I began to create 
workshops in two different contexts: one was an art 
class at the University of Calgary, the other an English 
language class for asylum seekers at the Canadian Catholic 
Immigration Society. We introduced ourselves to workshop 
participants and proposed to them the following scenario: 
as artists interested in immigration, we would like to 
design a language-based game, modeled after Canadian 
Immigration procedures. This game would take place 
at the Nickel Arts Museum, interrupting an auction; we 
invited workshop participants to help design the game, 
with the understanding that the 'players' or subjects of the 
game would be the Museum public: consisting largely of 
middle/upper class Canadian art collectors on one hand, 
and performance festival goers on the other. We offered a 
basic structure as a starting point: a grid, a questionnaire, 
points, the use of coinage, various possibilities for marking 
territories within an open space. Through discussions, play, 
testing out possible scenarios together, the complex rules of 
our game became flushed out. 

Questions began to emerge about power, control 
and compliance. What are the stakes in such a game, 
and how far are we willing to go in exploring the dynamic 
of desire and coercion - as the very structure or logic of 
such a game? We drew upon the experiences of workshop 
participants to create a navigational/evaluative game with 
serious and very real stakes: the game begins with the loss 
of one's Canadian ID, which the player must then struggle 
to re-acquire. Such 'deep play' required the commitment of 
the artists, curators and game designers towards very real 
possible risks. 

The ethics of such work are always troubling. 
Politics becomes for us intensely implicated in negotiating 
the positions, emotions and desires of all those involved, 
and trying to create situations that do not pretend to 
operate as 'horizontal' - in other words, to acknowledge 
the asymmetry of our relationships, the different relative 
positions occupied by various co-participants in the process. 
The artists, whose privileged subjectivity and social position 
threatens to colonize the project, must be willing to put 
themselves at extreme risk, to look for strategic ways to 
leverage their position (access to the museum as a platform, 
to mechanisms of legitimation and so on). They must 
also be willing to undermine the very institution that is 



supporting them by revealing its complicity with power, and 
by working aggressively with the institutions' patrons. 

The Game 

Good moral character, a question of fact, has 
been interpreted as meaning character which 
measures up to the standards of average 
citizens of the community in which the applicant 
res ides... 6 

The evening of the auction, a small registration 
table is set up at the museum entrance. The visitor is 
politely asked for their Canadian ID and in exchange receives 
a Valuation Card to hang around their neck. It contains 
specific instructions, a score card, and their ID number. It 
becomes apparent only later that this score card must be 
completed before the player can re-acquire their ID. 

Workshop participants? play the role of agents. 
They wear white shirts, with several pens tucked into breast 
pockets. Their gestures are beurocratic: stamping, initialing, 
stapling; they check documents; they click their pens; 
they helpfully direct traffic. A looped audio recording plays 
navigating instructions that reinforce some basic rules: If 
you have a question, raise your hand and an agent will be 
right with you. Thank you for your cooperation. 

The next stage of the game takes the player through 
the museum lobby, past the gift shop, beyond the auction 
room to a large adjacent subspace, organized as a 10 x 
10 grid. Players must navigate this grid; the initial and 
destination coordinates are based on the first and last digits 
of the ID number. In each position, they read and respond to 
questions, receiving points based on responses. Questions 
are extracted from discussions with workshop participants 
and/or Immigrations questionnaires. On the back of the 
question cards are images and descriptions of coins from 
the Nickle collection, which are also projected on a wall at 
the end of the space. The more astute players recognize 
that points can also be scored on the back. Sample question 

(images or texts excerpted from question cards 
inserted here) 

Periodically, agents may check score cards and convert 
points into real moneys, excitedly disbursed in nickels, 
dimes and quarters from change belts (similar to the 
ones worn by casino workers) - this noisy reward system 
attracts the interest of players in neighboring positions. 
Specific areas of the grid may have more point earning 
potential; some players begin to strategize their navigation. 
Small micro-economies emerge as players begin to swap 
question cards or positions; some players 'relativise' their 
self-assessments, others devise strategies to either prolong 
navigation - in the search for more points - or to finish as 
quickly as possible, which becomes more and more urgent 
as preparations for the auction next door are audibly under 

If a player's card is invalidated for any reason 
(cheating, a technical mistake, stepping off the grid without 
prior authorization etc), or if they wish to access the auction 
room, they must retrieve their ID from the registration table. 
But at this station only one exchange is possible, and only in 
one direction: the registration agent takes ID's in exchange 
for cards, not the other way around. A disgruntled player 
demands their ID and is denied; he requests to see who 
is in charge, but each agent refers him to the next agent, 
and the next, and the next... the situation deteriorates, the 
player becomes aggressive and threatens to call the police. 
Quickly, his companions' laughter (his family??) pressures 
him into submission - compliance is enforced between 
players through embarrassment and the threat of exposure 
as culturally unsophisticated ('what's the matter with you?? 
Cant you tell it's a performance!!'). Though the registration 
agent refuses, for the duration of the game, to return ID's, 
he may or may not disburse additional score cards in 
exchange for shoes, small personal items, a credit card, a 

Once the completion of grid navigation is certified 
by an agent, players are authorized to leave the grid and 

are directed to cue at the accounting table. Accountants 
make little to no eye contact; they tally points, check for 
errors on all question cards, tally up numismatic points 
and moneys won, validate or invalidate all score cards. The 
player is returned their ever-increasing stack of paperwork 
and directed to the evaluation table. One player's card is 
invalidated for navigating the grid diagonally; he demands 
to see the director of the museum, who is however also 
trapped somewhere within the grid. Impatient players 
cueing behind the dissenter apply pressure based, this time, 
on the principle of efficiency ('c'mon man, I don't have all 

The cue at the valuation table is even longer. Players 
chat and may compare cards, at times discovering only at 
this late stage the (underexploited) value of the historical 
coinage on the back of their question cards. At the table, 
evaluation agents are chatty, helpful. Each player is informed 
they have not accrued sufficient points to re-acquire their 
ID (all questions about what amount of points is necessary 
are answered by simply quoting a higher number than the 
player's current total - one can, simply put, never have 
enough points). However, valuation agents encourage the 
player to demonstrate additional skills they may have, 
ways in which they may bring a valuable contribution to 
Canadian society. Their gentle reassurance encourages 
players to offer a wide range of skills: some recite poems, 
write recipes, do drum solos, quote extensively from tax 
laws, offer investment tips - most wildly enjoyed by still 
cueing players. After each demonstration, a brief evaluation 
results in additional points offered and a PENDING tag 
is gingerly tied around the player's index finger. The final 
station is the pending area, situated behind the valuation 
area, the only place where players can see the space in its 
entirety. From here they may observe the implementation of 
a 'regime change' - the agents swarm the grid and assault 
players' score cards with hole punchers, as the voice in the 
loudspeaker announces that from now on all points will be 
scored in the negative. From here they may also witness 
a young woman who, instead of being disbursed moneys 
from a change belt, is politely asked to pay the agents. 
Neighboring players help her out, she dutifully counts 
quarters and nickels in the agent's outstretched hand. 

90 minutes within the performance, players 
are in various stages, occupying various positions in the 
space. Some are trying to renegotiate for their ID's at the 
registration table; some are on the grid, some are cueing 
at the accounting or evaluation tables and others are in the 
pending area. Some seem bored, others intensely excited, 
some laughing and others distinctly upset. The auction next 
is well under way, some players are missing the best deals 
and begin to protest loudly. The police have been called. 

At a prerecorded cue, all agents gradually and 
unremarkably leave the exhibition space and gather at the 
registration desk. For the next 10-12 minutes, nothing else 
changes in the now unsupervised space: the recorded voice 
in the loudspeakers continues to loop through instructions, 
players remain cueing in front of empty accounting and 
valuation tables, stranded in the grid, hands raised in 
appeal to agents that do not arrive; waiting corralled in the 
pending area. We are unsure how long it takes players to 
realize the system has abandoned them, if any are raiding 
the tables for more points or stacks of quarters, if they are 
alarmed or indifferent, socializing or becoming agitated. 
What we do know is that it takes 12 minutes before the 
first players arrive at the Museum entrance looking for 
answers. They are thanked for their cooperation, ID's are 
returned, and informal conversations about this evening's 
performance begin. 

Playing Fields 

Ten months later, I presented the project and workshop 
method at a conference in Cardiff, Wales entitled 
Displacement and Integration. I proposed this method as 
a possible model for critical pedagogy in the context of 
working with refugees and asylum seekers. This was also 
intended as a critical alternative to the spatial trope of 
displacement/integration (expulsion/incorporation, outside/ 
inside and so forth). 

The debates surrounding these workshops echoed 
the conversations at the end of the Nickle performance. 
Art professionals (theater practitioners, community artists) 
were generally appalled at the suggestion of 'real' (as 
opposed to purely symbolic) coercion, and at what they 
considered grossly unethical assumptions made about the 
players. Some insisted that game itself, designed with the 
participation of asylum seekers, was sufficient, and did not 
require a second stage - in which the game would be played 
by unsuspecting museum patrons. Others suggested a more 
ethical social contract was necessary, notifying possible 
participants of the nature of the game ahead of time, and 
giving reluctant visitors the choice to participate purely as 





spectators. Several social workers, trauma counselors and 
immigration rights activists, however, saw potential in the 
method, and strongly supported a structure which would 
provoke the renegotiation of established positions of power. 

This work, and the debate surrounding it, point to 
the necessity and limits of intervention within the frame of 
the museum, particularly when attempting to de-normalize 
the construction of the local' or "citizen" subject position 
in relation to the 'foreigner', the 'spectator' in relation to 
'performer'. 'The Elastic Test' project developed over three 
stages, in three different locations - Johannesburg, South 
Africa; Houston United States; and Calgary Canada, and 
in each stage required making something of a mess within 
established social and/or institutional structures. But this 
is not really sustainable as a practice for very long - not, 
for instance, for the curator who lost his job within days of 
the exhibition, nor for the artists who have not been invited 
back to Canada since. There are specific ways of playing 
the bad boy as an artist which are rewarded with increased 
visibility in the art market; this is not one of them. But we 
are left with something concrete we can continue to work 
with: the strategic leveraging of our capacity for play as a 
complex spatial/social practice, linking movement with the 
awareness of oneself in relation to others, within multiple 
spatial/social frames. The players' relational adaptations 
within contradictory and unstable systems of valuation is 
what brings the playing field itself into question. 





Harvey, David. 2006. Spaces of Global Capitalism: Towards 
a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development. London and 
New York: Verso 

Holmes, Brian. The Artistic Device, Or the Articulation 
of Collective Speech. Ephemera: Theory and Politics in 
Organization Volume 6(4), November 2006. Also available 
online on Brian Holmes' web archive at 
Kester, Grant. Dialogical Aesthetics: A Critical Framework 
for Littoral Art. Variant issue 9. Winter 1999-2000. Glasgow. 
Also published online at http://www.variant.randomstate. 

Thatcher, Margaret . Interview with Ronald Butt. Sunday 
Times, 3 May 1981. Available online at http://www. 

United States Immigration and Nationality Act. 
Interpretations. Interpretation 316.1 Naturalization 
requirements. All statutes and interpretations available on 
the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website http:// 

1 Interview with Margaret Thatcher in the Sunday 
Times, May 3 1981. Also quoted by David Harvey in 
Spaces of Global Capitalism: Towards a Theory of Uneven 
Geographical Development, whose spatial analysis of 
neoliberalism I am greatly indebted to 

2 I am borrowing heavily from recent debates 
surrounding Littoral Practice, especially Grant Kester's 
formulations; see "Dialogical Aesthetics: A Critical 
Framework For Littoral Art" in Introduction: Socially Engaged 
Practice Forum; though wary of naming such practices as a 
possibly defensive maneuver (what's wrong with a complete 
departure from identification as "art"?), I find many aspects 
of these debates useful. 

3 United States Immigration and Nationality Act, 
Interpretation 316.1. US Immigration Statutes had remained 
virtually unchanged since their inception; however, the 
ever-changing Interpretations reflect the ways in which 
naturalization criteria are interpreted by the courts. The 
Elastic Text Project began in the US and then developed in 
South Africa and Canada 

4 I am greatly indebted to the work of Brian Holmes, 
in particular his exploration of the counter-device in "The 
Artistic Device, Or the Articulation of Collective Speech" 

5 Documentation can be viewed at 

6 United States Immigration and Nationality Act, 
Interpretation 316.1 

7 Due to the nature of the process, participants' 
contributions are crucial in shaping the project. Agents 
include workshop participants and performance artists 
from the MS2 festival. Full credits available at http://www. 

Rozalinda Borcila is a Romanian artist currently 
based in the US. Her video, installation and 
performance work attends to the material spaces of 
power, and its subjective experience in daily life. 
She is also involved in several collaborations, 
seeking ways to develop collective capacities for 
critical imagination and action, 
www. commonplacesproject. org www. elastictest. com 



H — ' 








Neil Cummings 

Amended transcript of a lecture delivered to the Network of 
Market Traders, Cracow middle-europe June 12th 2038 

Its great to be with you as part of your Centenary Celebra- 
tions here in Nowa Huta- 

And thanks to the organizers Jakub Szreder and Martin Kalt- 
waser for inviting me to participate. 

Looking back, it was the collapse of the General Agreement 
on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) trade talks in 2006, that was the 
beginning of the end of a competitive global market. After five 
years of intense negotiation developing countries were out- 
raged at the way in which the interests of Europe, Japan and 
the US were being used to intimidate them into singing up to 
a viciously unfair, new round of 'Free Trade' agreements. The 
competitive Global marketplace (The Market) exploited the 
poorest people and expropriated their resources, while GATT's 
enforcement arm the Multinational Trade Organization (MTO) 
- known colloquially as the Free Trade Police (FTP) - enforced 
its agreements with extensive global powers and brutal trade 
sanctions. Most sub-Saharan African Trade ministers walked 
out in disgust, citing the coupling of a 'development agenda' 
to the opening of their local markets to the competitive global 
'Free Trade" market, as simply corrupt (2) . 

In theory the World Trade Organization (WTO) through GATT 
was supposed to prevent protectionism - the manipulation 
of financial prices through import tariffs and reproduction 
subsidies (3) - in The Market by the rich trading nations, 
while granting a degree of protectionism to developing na- 
tions markets (4). The principle makes sense, The Market had 
vast capital, power, experience and economies of scale, so 
to let The Market compete with small local markets was not 
competition, it was like learning to swim in a flood, and local 
markets drowned. Yet the ideological drive of The Market's 
advocates could not tolerate even limited protectionism, and 
so the last great global trade negotiations collapsed. It was 
becoming obvious, that for all its rhetoric The Market did not 
transfer, distribute or even circulate wealth; it concentrate 
power in monopolies. 

Mr 5 : 

For instance, in 2006 the merger of Acelor and Mittal Steel 
into Acelor-Mittal produced the world's largest global steel 
company, with annual shipments of 75.2 million tons and 
revenues of over 38.6 billion US dollars. They owned steel- 
making facilities in 46 countries, spanning four continents an 
employed 500,000 people. Acelor-Mittal Steel consolidated 
(read monopolized) the world steel industry through a range 
of acquisitions, many through purchasing formerly public 
sector-owned companies. And I'm sure that you are all only 
too well aware, that they once owned the Heritage Steelworks 
near to where I'm speaking to you from today. Nowa Huta was 
one of only two Soviet (Soviet used to mean state dominated 
anti-market economies) 'ideal cities' ever to be constructed, 
and it was built around the gargantuan 'Lenin' steelworks. 
Which, after the introduction of The Market and the move 
out of public ownership, became the Sendzimira steelworks. 
Acquired by the Mittal group in 2004, steelmaking ceased in 
2010 and production moved to Rangoon to be closer to Chi- 



nese and Indian demand. Although the Steelworks re-opened 
in 2014 as a part of Nowa Huta's re-branding as an 'event' 
city, and it became a UNESCO protected 'communist' World 
Heritage site in 2016 with former steelworkers performing 
surrogate labour for visiting tourists. 

In many ways, it's the revitalization of this redundancy by 
our meshwork - and Now Huta is almost a micro-model of 
global trends, it could equally well be applied to Nanjin or 
Wolfsburg, or Lucknow - that we are celebrating today. 

Although perhaps the clearest example of the powerful mo- 
nopolizing forces at work in The Market, was the extraordi- 
nary financial profit generated through deregulated trading in 
the momentary price differences between various currencies. 
Currency trading enabled billions of US dollars of financial 
speculation to roam the globe looking for competitive advan- 
tage. Released from the post World War II, Bretton-Woods (5) 
agreement in 1971, and devolved of national political man- 
agement during the unprecedented ' free market' ideology 
of the 1980's, financial trading exploded in size, ubiquity 
and liquidity. The scale of financial trading was truly stagger- 
ing. For example the turnover in the currency market alone 
was estimated at 2.4 trillion US dollars a day in April 2008 
(6), which meant that in two months the financial profit from 
traded currency dwarfed the annual financial turnover from 
manufacturing and retail of the entire planet. That's more 
financial profit in two months than that generated from the 
production and consumption of every material thing on the 
planet in a year. And currency trading was but one of the 
five principle 'money' markets, the other four being bonds, 
stock, derivatives and commodities. Its worth me reminding 
you that %75 of currency trading was dominated by five bro- 
kerage firms (7). 

It was in a mid-nineteenth century nation called England, a 
satellite of Old Europe, that the social experiment to emanci- 
pate economic life, The Market, from social and political con- 
sequence began. In a city called Manchester, they pioneered 
a new form of social exchange they named the 'Free' Market, 
it was an economy - of money, labour, material and proc- 
esses - from which financial profit could be generated without 
regard to its wider effects on society and its resources. It's 
the origins for what used to be called the 'global' economy, 
a worldwide 'free' market dominated by trading monopolies. 
In this Market, the varied experiences, languages, exchange 
practices, and the manifold economic systems of all cultures 
were to be superseded by a new, universal community found- 
ed on the logic of financial competition. It was the last great 
Enlightenment project. 

Prior to this, rather like today, economic exchange practices 
were conducted in cooperative social markets — markets that 
were embedded in a community, and sensitive to environ- 
mental resources. These cooperative markets encouraged so- 
cial cohesion, they operated within a wider calculation as to 
what constitutes a profit and loss; they functioned more like 
ecologies. The goal of the Free Market experiment, delivered 
through a raft of the transnational organizations - of which 
GATT was the most powerful- was to eradicate these coop- 
erative social markets. And for almost two hundred years the 
US-Japan-European vision of the global, homogenous, com- 
petitive, 'free' Market dominated world-wide exchange. 

No one would want to deny The Markets role in the develop- 
ment of legal and economic instruments - like the mortgag- 
ing of assets- that perfected aspects of competitive trade. 
And no one would want to deny the benefits competitive mar- 
kets can bring in the development and delivery of certain 
goods and services. The ideological mistake was to see The 
Market as a universal technology, and, consequently to recon- 
figure the whole world ecology as its plaything. 

To imagine the world as a Market was to invite our own aliena- 
tion from it. 

Ultimately the clash of ideologies that GATT intended to man- 
age, managed itself. Ideological faith in The Market as a force 
for good, enabling billions of people to escape poverty, bring 
social harmony and provide the best use scarce resources 

was exposed as an abject failure. The Market was not a pas- 
sive medium, it was actually responsible for the widening gulf 
between the minority that manipulated its effects, and the 
majority that were subject to its force. 

Its hard to comprehend now, but the competitive Market ma- 
nipulated by trading monopolies - under the illusion of com- 
petition - forced nations and their citizens into destructive an- 
tagonism. Mega-corporations shaped peoples lives from the 
cradle to the grave by providing employment, goods, services, 
entertainments and ideologies; they controlled peoples wag- 
es, expenditures, savings, debts, pensions and investments 
(8). These corporations could develop or destroy whole com- 
munities by closing energy repurposing plants, steelworks or 
manufactories and move production elsewhere. And in their 
place encourage low wage outlets, service centers, heritage 
sites, tourist destinations and 'event' cities (9). Again, Nowa 
Huta is a perfect example. 

World-wide, citizens had to be protected from the power of 
the mega-corporations that manipulated The Market. A vast 
Human Rights coalition formed under the ethos of the 'Multi- 
tude', composed of the remnants of the United Nations and 
the more recent founded World Development Organization, 
Consumer and Employment Rights agencies, environmental- 
ists, local market makers and grass roots activists. Citizens 
had to be protected from financial audit failures, fraud and 
criminality of mega-corporations, their pathological avoid- 
ance of tax continually drained money from the public purse; 
through their funding of think tanks, lobbyists and political 
parties they shaped public policy to maximize their interests 
at national and international level; they incited cultural and 
religious terrorism (and terrorism devastated the trust neces- 
sary to facilitate Market activity) through ideological homo- 
geneity; they destroyed social welfare projects (where they 
existed) such as health care for all, state pension schemes, 
reliable public services (like water, electricity, transport and 
communication) and free state funded education; they ruth- 
lessly expropriated natural resources through plundering the 
worlds energy and mineral wealth, while through the 'tipping 
effect' of global warming and the failure of carbon trading, 
simultaneously polluted vast tracts of the globe. We needed 
protection because, quite simply, The Market was killing us. 
The single financial economy was also a monoglotal language 
environment (a variant of US English), and a global disease 
pool; a disease pool seething with Creutzfeldt-Jakobson dis- 
ease, myriad 'product' triggered carcinogens and pandemic 
immune system failures (the 'escaped' genetic hybrid of avian 
flu being one, and the modified HIV/aids virus another) and 
of course chronic 'consumer' obesity. Their complete lack of 
social responsibility made The Market a liability to world sus- 
tainability; simply, their financial profits were societies loss, 
and this was a cost we could no longer afford to bare. 

Of course these world-wide public 'protections' - like equality 
of employment, of health and safety conventions, or minimum 
wages, or consumer and environmental protection - were al- 
ways portrayed as 'regulation' stifling the dynamic Market, 
and posing a threat to creativity, profitability and efficiency. 

Immaterial 'property' and The Market 

The late 20th century drive to expropriate ideas, creativity 
and innovation by The Market, under the sign of property was 
in many ways the straw that broke the camels back. It seems 
obvious now, but The Markets continual impingement on cru- 
cial humanitarian issues, for instance the impact on scientific 
and cultural innovation, grew so stifling that it became an eth- 
ical imperative to break the replicating copyright, patent and 
the emerging Intellectual Property (IP) regimes. It was these 
legal regimes and their enforcement that supported The Mar- 
kets dominance, with their collapse - and the concomitant 
failure of trust necessary for exchange (I'll say more about 
this later) - The Market began to fracture into the myriad local 
meshworks that we might begin to recognize today. 

Knowledge 'belongs to', or more properly 'can be claimed 
by' communities near and far: the near one of its producers 
- local enthusiasts, embedded practical know-how, practices 

of everyday life, networks of academics, etc - and the far 
one of a universal beneficiary; humankind (10). Similarly cul- 
tural products, like artworks 'belong' to a near community of 
enthusiasts, artists, art critics, curators and collectors, etc, 
that make up the local arworlds, and a far community we 
refer to as culture, or world heritage. And we could imagina- 
tively model plant, animal, and mineral resources in a similar 
way, and of course exchange practices too. How is it possible 
therefore, to have exclusive rights over resources that are al- 
ready shared by all? Knowledge, artworks, life-practices, natu- 
ral resources, and much else besides, are all able to exist as 
nonexclusive distributable resources, outside of regimes of 
Marketization. Diverse strategies of cultural production, with- 
in and across specific cultural contexts, between individuals 
and across assemblages of interests cannot be forced into a 
simple model of property and Market. As Ishmael observes 
in Herman Melville's Moby Dick " It's a mutual, joint stock 
world" (11). 

The former Patents law for example granted monopolies of 
use to the patent holder for 70 years. And these patents could 
be applied for, and enforced, on any modified plant, mineral 
and animal modification, or the process that lead to the mod- 
ification (12)! The monopoly was justified by the Pharma-gi- 
ants, because of the high financial cost of research and de- 
velopment, and the need to recoup their financial investment. 
The prices set by the Pharma-giants, in The Market, for their 
branded products excluded many citizens of the developing 
nations (13). And so to provide for poorer people, generic 
products were reverse engineered by local producers from 
branded pharmaceuticals and traded in cooperative markets. 
Concerned by the loss of revenue and breach of Patent pro- 
tection, the Pharma-giants lobbied the Uruguay round of the 
WTO talks(1986-94), to frame new legislation to protect their 
'intellectual property'. The notorious Trade Related Aspects 
of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) agreement was the result. 
TRIPS required all WTO member nations to bring their pat- 
ent, copyright and intellectual property regimes into align- 
ment with The Market and its manipulators interests. Essen- 
tially to close local generic markets and vigorously prosecute 
intellectual 'pirates'. TRIPS was an all embracing agreement, 
including all genetic materials, plants, micro-organisms and 
organisms and their DNA sequences, material processes, 
technologies, all compiled information, all expressions of 
knowledge, and every image, text, and sound sequence. From 
this moment on, there seemed no end to the plethora of new 
immanent or immaterial entities, subject to claims and re- 
strictions based on ownership rights. It was as if the only 
legitimate relationship between persons or corporations and 
the world, were those constituted as property. And constitut- 
ing the world as property suggests a specific reification (turn- 
ing a thing into an object), where the objectified possession 
- and an objectified possession is an artifact perfected for 
trade - becomes the only value recognized as having value; a 
marketable value. 

The date set for full TRIPS compliancy was 2016. Fortunately 
mass cooperative 'piratization', supported by the Multitudes 
Public Interest legislation overrode the desire of The Market. 
TRIPS collapsed well before its implementation date. Medi- 
cal discoveries, treatments and drugs were some of the first 
'properties' to be freed from The Market. Pharma-giants 
were banned from being able to profit from the life and death 
of their 'customers' and their expropriated IP was returned 
to the 'near' and 'far' communities, where it 'belonged'. Ma- 
terial and immaterial knowledge, as well as creative expres- 
sions quickly followed. Knowledge and creativity ceased to 
be commodities for trade in the Market, and were returned 
to humankind as recognizably, the very source of life itself, 
a basic need and a human right. And as we know, far from 
stifling innovation and creativity, the collapse of IP regimes 
encouraged a golden age of science, technology and culture. 
Constant collaborative development, the free movement of 
knowledge and creativity resulted in many of the treatments, 
practices and technologies that have become our everyday. 



I should just remind you, because now it's so ubiquitous we 
tend to take it for granted, that the inspiration for IP resistance 
was the simultaneous development of Free Software and the 
Free Culture movement. It was the early software movement 
that produced the GNU/Linux, operating system; because for 
the twenty years before GNU/Linux, there were competing 
operating systems, all incompatible, and all privately owned. 
Eventually GNU/Linux ran the 'backbone' infrastructure for 
version 2 of the WWW, and it erased proprietary OS systems 
when information-devices became thoroughly embedded 
and distributed. The necessary Open Content licenses that 
developed to protect software from IP regimes also enabled 
Open Knowledge, Commons-based and Free Culture practices 
to take-hold. If the Free Software movement challenged con- 
ventional practices of authorship, ownership and distribution 
with user-driven innovation, peer-to-peer and non-proprietary 
(meaning non - Market) models of cultural production, these 
innovative practices quickly spread to art, visual culture and 
cultural production in general. Eventually, large-scale coop- 
erative efforts— peer production of information, knowledge, 
and culture encouraged fifty million volunteers to success- 
fully coauthor, maintain and use Wikipedia, (then) the larg- 
est alternative to proprietary encyclopaedic knowledge. And 
4.5 million volunteers contribute their networked computer 
downtime to create the most powerful supercomputer on 
Earth, SETI (14). Of course the story from then on is fairly 
well known, educational practices were slowly transformed 
by commons-knowledge projects, sciences returned to peer 
sharing and public review, and so on, through news reporting 
and distribution, then entertainment ceased being something 
you consumed and returned to a participant practice, and fi- 
nally local 'open source' democratic organizations joined the 
recombinant 'Multitude' to refresh political engagement. The 
experience of participation in everyday life, its organization, 
representation and communication, was being re-appropriat- 
ed from The Market by the people who produced it. 

The Return of Meshwork Markets 

An ecology is not controlled by a genetic program - like a spe- 
cies - it integrates a variety of animals and plants, food and 
energy into a web of related interests, interlocking them as 
a network. The result, a decentralized assemblage of hetero- 
geneous components closely mirrors the dynamics of our co- 
operative local (and true) market. Cooperative markets allow 
the interaction of people, animals, plants, goods, products, 
knowledge, resources, energy and waste to be interlocked 
by complementary interests. These markets are sustainable, 
self-organized and decentralized structures: they arise spon- 
taneously without the need for central planning, and evolve 
through a kind of creative drift, through following the conver- 
gence of resources, needs and desire. Cooperative markets 
are based on mutuality. They operate 
agonistically, meaning that the aim of participants is not to 
destroy one another (antagonism), but like wrestlers wres- 
tling, recognize the reciprocity necessary in any exchange. 

As we have seen, the logic of competitive practice in The 
Market is to accrue the power to 'set' the financial price of 
inputs and outputs. 'Inputs' would be the materials, labour 
and process of production, 'outputs' the means of distribu- 
tion and point of demand. Mega-corporations, monopolies 
(in all but name) and oligopolies are price setters: the finan- 
cial cost of their processes has never reflected the rhetoric 
they use in describing The Market - the rhetoric of supply 
dynamics, user demand, social costs or environmental conse- 

quences. Financial prices are 'set' at a level that reflects their 
own power to control market share and maximize financial 
profit (15). 

In absolute contrast in our local collaborative markets, eve- 
rybody involved recognizes themselves as simultaneously, a 
producer, distributor and end-user. And everybody recognizes 
the codependency of those practices, and how those prac- 
tices sit within wider social and 'natural' resources; a network 
of interests, an ecology. Networks of networked interests, 
convened as markets, we learnt to call meshworks. And in 
meshwork markets, monopolization looses its logic. The best 
financial price is no longer that which is set by monopolies to 
maximizes the difference between cost of production, distri- 
bution, and the price paid by the end-user - what used to be 
called, in a rather patronizing term, the consumer. Now, the 
'best' financial price is that which reflects the co-dependency 
of the network of networked interests that make our markets. 
Meshwork markets therefore, transform financial competition 
into financial cooperation. 

And perhaps as importantly, local meshworks create a grow- 
ing pool of embedded practical knowledge. And because 
this pool has not been internalized as a property by a mega- 
corporation, it cannot be expropriated, and so knowledge 
remains and enriches its locale. Hence regional, local coop- 
erative markets will not suffer the fate of so many Industrial 
company towns - like Nowa Huta, or Nanjin or Wolfsburg, 
or Lucknow - which die after the mega-corporation that feed 
upon them, move elsewhere (16). 

"Exchange", wrote sociologist Georg Simmel in 1907 is "one 
of the purest and most primitive forms of human socializa- 
tion; it creates a society, in place of a mere collection of in- 
dividuals." (17) 

As I mentioned earlier, a market is not designed, and yet there 
is a recognizable coherence between the ancient bazzar (18), 
the 19th C Marche au Puce, the 20th C flea, thrift and street 
markets, peer-to-peer digital exchanges, and contemporary 
meshworks. We might recognize elements of this description 
of a late 20th C European flea market 

7/7 Brick Lane, as in markets everywhere, an adjacency of 
products evolves. Stolen bicycles for instance, their various 
parts and sub parts - and the feral youth that traffic them - ac- 
crue to one another near the edges of the market, where lines 
of vision and routes of escape are relatively accessible. Sto- 
len goods, counterfeit perfumes, and pick-a cup touts, share 
these easy-access border zones with milling groups of Alba- 
nians offering crumpled packets, while muttering "cigarettes, 
cigarettes, cigarettes". Further in, out of date-stamp comes- 
tibles, food without provenance, bizarrely named sweets, 
piles of rotting or misshapen vegetables, damaged delicacies 
and mountains of cakes, stick together in a sick parody of 
the supermarket aisle. A milling crowd of men browse stalls 
piled with new and old tools, and tools for tasks long forgot- 
ten, so long forgotten the implements take on the patina of 
museum artifacts from cultures long deceased. Household 
goods merge with an array of furniture - from broken rubbish 
to high-design collectibles, are all washed-up on the market 
from capsized businesses and sinking domestic arrange- 
ments. Pirated software, games and pornography, compete 
with carelessly copied DVD's ■ their presence in the market 

so premature, they precede the official product release ■ cell 
phones, sim cards and 'instant unblocking' (a guy with a lap- 
top) merge into piles of 'remotes', black goods and TV's, to 
form a recycled silicon valley. ' 

That was an extract from a book about London, Old Europe 
called Downriver, by Ian Sinclair published in 1991. 

Cooperative markets are networks of interrelated interests, 
and interrelated interests can only function (obviously) in use- 
ful combination with others. Markets therefore -as Simmel 
so perceptively observed - are social mechanism that enable 
people to swap, trade, bargain, compete and cooperate. It 
enables them to transact complex resources, needs and de- 
sires, through a medium of exchange. Which makes exchange, 
first and foremost a communication praxis; and a market a 
communications technology. Peoples come together to trans- 
act, perhaps for quite different reasons; they do not need to 
exchange equitably, or even communicate in the same lan- 
guage; all that is required is that they have some 'goods (19)' 
to transact, and social conventions to enable the transaction 
- a cooperative market. 

That the values attached to 'goods' in a given transaction, are 
not the values received is unimportant, transactions are pos- 
sible without equivalence. Because of course, the possibility 
of two desires finding their exact reciprocal equivalent in an 
endless chain of transaction is an impossibility; barter there- 
fore has always been a severely limited social practice. Money, 
or some other agreed currency has always been useful for de- 
ferring the differences exposed in transaction. Money offsets 
the need for transactual reciprocity. It mutates the simple 
chain of barter into a network, no a network of networks, a 
meshwork of exchange through space and time. Money con- 
nects transactions to all other desires, everywhere. 

Transactions are also clearly possible without ownership. All 
that is necessary - like the foundation of language itself - is 
that one value can be substituted for another, and that in- 
terested parties can apprehend the substitution. Therefore 
when 'goods' are transacted, relations between people are 
also exchanged. Values, values of all kinds - including cultur- 
al, political, emotional, libidinal and financial - can be made 
present, substituted and transacted. A transaction is not tied 
to the goods transacted, it's the ability to make present or 
real, relationships between people. Social relations as subtle 
and complex as this; convened in meshwork markets, can 
never be subsumed by The Market. 

Although a market is not designed as an aesthetic object, 
there is a beautiful logic of practice at work: (as we have seen 
already) markets are self-regulating networks that evolve a 
familiar structure from heterogenous desires. And yet those 
desires are never 'set' - 'set' in the old Market sense of the 
tern, meaning fixed or controlled. In cooperative markets de- 
sires are always in the process of becoming. Transactions 
confer temporal assessments of value that continually have 
to be remade. Meshwork markets function in the moment of 

Forgive me for my indulgence, I'm sure I don't need to lec- 
ture the audience here this evening of the workings of a mar- 

I'm sure you're anxious to continue the celebrations. So in 
closing, I would just like to loop back with you, almost to the 
birth of your organization in 1939 and wander with (the then) 
two famous artists through the vast 'marche au puces' of cen- 
tral Paris, a former capital in Old Europe. Imagine those radi- 
cal 'surrealists' artist Andre Breton and Alberto Giacommetti 
as they scoured the markets looking for 'object sauvages' 
(20). Object sauvages' is an Old French language term mean- 
ing 'savage object', by which they meant to designate objects 
that were stripped of the aesthetic glamour of advertising. 
Things that had fallen from The Market, abandoned by the 
dead logic of retail, and plunged into the world of need and 
desire. The surrealist artists sought-out objects, that would 
enable them, in the moment of transaction, to decode their 
unconscious and libidinal desires. For them, street markets 
were like vast material maps of the collective unconscious, a 



psycho-pathology of everyday life and a reservoir of all that is 
lost in the banality of shopping, and The Market. 

Breton, and the Surreallist instinctively understood, as we do 
a hundred years later, that transactions convened in coopera- 
tive meshwork markets are a celebration of 'real' life. 

Even more than that, such market transactions don't result in 
our alienation from life; they are the foundation of life itself. 

Archaic yet hyper-modern (as we all know only too well) coop- 
erative markets endure, and life prospers. 

Thank you for being so patient, 

Thank you so much for inviting me, goodnight, and enjoy the 

Image credits and captions 

1. MM_pavilion.jpg 

Network of Market Traders local pavilion, Nowa Huta 2024 

2. MM_Hongkong.jpg 

Installing the Open Knowledge Network T5 spine, Berliner 
Ring, Wolfsburg 2036 

3. MM_market.jpg 

Local produce at one of the fledgling local markets, Nowa 
Huta 2004 

All images courtesy of 

commissioned by Jakub Szreder and Martin Kaltwaser 
as part of 100 years of Wolfsburg and Nowa Huta 10 Dec 
2005 - 14 Nov 2006 Kunstverein Wolfsburg - Lazia Nowej Thea- 
tre Nowa Huta, Cracow 


(1) 'Meshworks' was a term coined by a 20th century cultural 
theorist Manuel De Landa in book entitled A Thousand Years of 
Non-Linear History Zone Books New York 2000 

(2) In West Africa in 2006, in some of the poorest countries on 
the planet - Mali, Liberia, Gabon and Burkina Faso - the annual 
debt repayments (repayments negotiated by Non Government 
Organizations NGO's on their behalf on debts for loans en- 
forced on them by the World Trade Organization WTO) exceed 
the countries total Gross National Product GNP; the total mar- 
ketization of the nations tradeable excess. 

The World Bank will only deal with - meaning extend loans 
to; or en-debt - countries without trade protections, therefore 
Tree' markets. 

(3) In 2004 the United States spent $4 billion dollars per an- 
num subsidizing its 25,000 cotton farmers, more than the en- 
tire economic output of Burkina Faso. The subsidies exceeded 
the value of the cotton produced, lead to overproduction and 
distorted the prices in the market. Subsidies stifle local mar- 
kets, and deprive developing markets of the only advantage 
they have, low costs and high quality. 

(4) One of the many cruel ironies is that no market was ever 
'free'. As a form of exchange between interested parties mar- 
kets are always convened through convention, rule and restric- 

(5) The Bretton Woods system of international economic man- 
agement established the rules for commercial and financial 
relations among the major industrial states in July 1944. The 
agreement anchored national currencies to the US dollar, 
linked the value of the dollar to the price of gold thereby fa- 

cilitating the first truly global market, 

(6) The Wall Street Journal Europe, (2/9/08 p. 20). 

(7) Wall Street Journal Europe ibid 

(8) Personal debt in Europe broke through the 2 trillion 
(2,000,000,000,000) barrier in 2010 and was increasing by 
£1 million every four minutes; the interest paid on this debt 
was running at £8 billion every month. http://www.creditac- 

(9) To paraphrase the 17th C English philosopher Thomas 
Hobbes in place of simultaneous war between all men, there 
was competitive trade between all men. Hobbes, Thomas The 
Leviathan (1651) 

(10) Free access to knowledge and information (article 34) 
was added to the amended Universal Declaration of Human 
Rights in 2010. Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly 
resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 2010 

(11) Melville, Herman Moby Dick, Collectors Library edition 
2004(1851) p. 108 

(12) The Indian Neem tree (Azadirachta indica), used for cen- 
turies by local people to produce remedies for everything from 
snake bites to high blood pressure was in 2004 the subject 
of 70 patents by Pharma-giants. In an extraordinary grab for 
resources companies claimed ownership of maize, potato, 
basmati rice, wheat sorghum, and all vegetables. Patents were 
also granted on tea, soya, coffee and cotton. The struggle in 
the early years of our century was over the ownership of life 
forms, and their reproduction. By 2012 all property claims on 
life processes were overthrown, although the developing world 
spent over 60bn US dollars a year fighting the new Inventions', 
processes and products of the pharma giants and their result- 
ant intellectual property claims. 

(13) For example in May 2003, branded Zidovidune capsules, 
used in early HIV/Aid's treatments (before its cluster muta- 
tion), cost 198 OE euros, generics 24 OE euros, (prices re- 
corded by Medecins Sans Frontieres) 

(14) It was the SETI project that processed the gene sequenc- 
ing necessary for the fist i-commons databank in 2013 

(15) The top ten monopolies in 2008, Citigroup, General Elec- 
tric, Altria Group, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Bank of 
America, Pfizzer, Wal-Mart Stores, Toyota, Microsoft 

(16) Wolfsburg is a perfect example, the town was founded 
in 1939 around the Wolkswagen corporation car factory. The 
city and corporation prospered for sixty years until production 
was moved to cheaper zones in The Market, oil droughts ren- 
dered cars luxurious, and eventually the brand was absorbed 
by a Market rival in 2007. The city during this period perpetu- 
ated a fiction that the car corporation was still supporting the 
town - in fact it was principally derivative trading by the parent 
company, and perpetuated a series of auto themed projects 
to compete the fiction. Includiing Auto Stadt -a theme park 
for car and car fetishism, the Phaeno a destination museum 
a transpart 

(17) Simmel, Georg The Philosophy of Money Routledge Lon- 
don 2010(1907) 

(18) A bazaar is an ancient word for a market, the word de- 
rives from the Persian bazar, whose etymology goes back to 
the Pahlavi word baha-char meaning "the place of value". 

(19) By using the unfashionable term 'goods' I'd like to signify 
anything that can be transacted; material or immaterial. 

(29) The incident is retold in Andre Breton's book Nadja (1939) 

Creative Commons: Attribution ShareAlike v2.5 




An analysis of organization, epistemol- 
ogy, policy and discourse 
from the UK mid- 2007 

Manuela Zechner 

0. Introduction 

Key points+ methodology 

1. Culture and Industry 
The Culture Industry 

Cultural Industries and Creative Industries 

2. Creative Industries 
Definition and Organization 

Who are Creative Industries workers and what difference do 

they make? 

The "Creative Class" 

3. Creative Industries policy 
Intellectual Property 
Cultural Policy 

Cultural Policy and Open Source 

Cultural Policy and Subsidy 

Public- Private Partnerships in Art and Education 

4. Discourse 

5. Conclusion: responding and relating 

key words; creative industries, culture industry, cultural in- 
dustries, policy, UK, work, flexibilization, precariousness, 
public- private partnerships, education, commercialization, 
open source, discourse, creativity, innovation, talent 

0. Introduction 

The Creative Industries are a new and flourishing sector of 
advanced capitalist economies 1 , particularly in the UK where 
it makes about 7.3% of the economy and is of comparable 
size to the financial services industry 2 . An exhaustive report 
has just been released by the UK DCMS in anticipation of a 
green paper 3 . While the Creative Industries are referred to as 
a success story in the UK and elsewhere, there is need for a 
more critical reflection on what exactly they are composed of 
and structured by, how they stand in relation to cultural policy 
and the Cultural Industries, and what they aim to bring to or 
take from "culture" and "creativity". 
The notion of culture has since after the second world war 
been increasingly associated with industry and markets, and 

1 In July 2007, the CRI alongside Biotechnology and 
Informations and Communications Technology (ICT) are 
among the three fastest growing economic sectors globally, 
according to the World Bank In the EU they make for 2.6 
percent (i.e. Culture industries contribute more towards the 
economy in Europe than e.g. the food industries (1.9%) or 
the chemical industries (2.3%)) (November 2006). Similar 
figures can be put forward for various countries- particularly 
South Korea, Australia, the US, Singapore, etc). The CI 

are estimated to account for 7 percent of world GDR 


2 Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Staying 
ahead, (Introduction), Report on Creative Industries, 
London June 2007. 
visited September 2007 

3 World Bank website, ibid 

since the 70s along with notions of knowledge and creativity 
increasingly associated with the monetary and enterprise. As 
part of a host of notions that have arisen in the course of 
complex developments of correlations between culture and 
economic sectors, the concept of creativity has come to play 
an important role in the vocabularies of government and 
business, particularly in the UK and France since the mid-80s. 
The arising discourses are increasingly under investigation by 
academics as well as cultural workers in critical, subversive 
or affirmative manner. 

The accelerating growth of what came to be known as the 
knowledge economy in the nineties furthered the emergence 
of new kinds of policy and discourse around what one might 
call "culture". Ways of relating to this notion had been 
undergoing constant transformation since the early 20 th 
century, when continually changing conditions of production 
impacted on practices and markets associated with "culture". 
Since the nineties, the emergence of a discourse surrounding 
Creative Industries appears most notable in France and the 
UK, contributing the formation of a highly neoliberal idea of 
cultural production and the legitimation of corresponding 
policy. The formation of what I would call an emerging regime 
of Creative I ndustries bears correspondence to the notions and 
policy of Cultural Industries as well as the concept of Culture 
Industry as coined by Horkheimer and Adorno 4 , however 
it does not entirely coincide with either. The emergence of 
Creative Industries is being rigorously implemented on a 
policy level. 

Ever- increasing investment in what I will generally refer 
to as semantic, symbolic or cultural production and the 
marketing thereof as copyrighted material forms the basis of 
the prospering Creative Industries. The policy and according 
investment in this sector not only affects those whose activities 
happen to coincide with this relatively new definition of a 
field, but encompasses various developments that impact 
on society at large. The highly economy-oriented assignment 
of value and meaning to cultural phenomena gives rise to 
policies that encourage processes of gentrification in urban 
zones, systematic education of flexible creative workers 
as well as supporting a general shift towards a proprietary 
model for ideas. 

Creative Industries is a hybrid strategy for the extraction 
of financial profit mainly from "immaterial" labour, cultural 
services and experiences, but also hardware production 
and sales. With increasing deregulation, the rewarding of 
intellectual and creative activity becomes more difficult, 
because there is a new organization of labour within which 
fixed or stable working hours and contracts no longer hold. 
The quantification of knowledge or creativity in economic 
terms on the other hand is achieved through the application 
of Intellectual Property (henceforth IP) regulations. Creative 
labour as such is highly competitive, despite depending on 
peer review and supposedly collaborative team work 5 . 

While symbolic production becomes ever more important 
for national and supranational economies, there exist many 
different ways of developing and sustaining a wealth of related 
activity and production within regions and states. This text will 
focus on the history, policy and contemporary government 
Creative Industries (henceforth CRI) discourse in the UK, while 
also referring to European and Brazilian contexts. It seems 
particularly relev ant to refer to the CRI in the UK because, 

4 The term "Cultural Industry" is often used 
synonymously to "Creative Industries". I would argue that 
the latter is a new phenomenon that might be understood in 
terms of an increased deregulation of cultural production 
and to some extent as overwriting the former. "Culture 
Industry" in singular describes the conceptualization and 
critique of early/mid 20 th century phenomena as described 
by T.W. Adorno and M. Horkheimer. 

5 If "collaboration" is understood as a non- 
hierarchical mode of working together which takes space 
to be critical of itself, it is clear that only a very small 
margin of cultural or creative industries work can be called 
collaborative. Through enforced competition and pressure, 
the contrary is likely to occur- a hierarchical organization 

of labour which is however based on an ethos of teamwork. 
This in one of many factors that makes it difficult to claim 
ones rights as a creative worker. 

since the 70s its role has been pivotal in developing a host of 
urban and national policies that propose new approaches to 
merging culture and business. In recent years CRI policy has 
become a priority for the UK government, which aims to be 
at the forefront of a new culture and prosperity brought by 
creative enterprise. 6 The UK CRI are often cited as a model 
that informs policy in many other nations. 

The CRI conceptual, strategic and legal framework goes 
beyond the means of distribution and reception that the 
Frankfurt School described as mass media or Culture 
Industry, but it can be seen to be part, offshoot or successor 
of Cultural Industries Policy. Like most Cultural Industries 
(henceforth CUI) frameworks (which mainly come out of the 
postwar US and 70s UNESCO policy) the CRI include a vast 
range of sectors such as arts, antiques, computer games, 
fashion, design, and publishing- encompassing almost any 
creative individual, business or arts organisation. In the 
UK, where the notion of Creative Industries appears more 
frequently than that of Cultural Industries, the CRI are a key 
component of cultural policy. Implications of this are both 
positive and negative for people working within the culture 
sector: an increased number of workplaces and support 
for creative enterprise, but also more competitiveness and 
flexibilization, as well as commercialization of creative 
practice and associated institutions. In the context of cities 
such as London, some have argued that the advent of CRI 
might mark a shift from investment into management 
consultancy and finance towards investment into culture 
and creative enterprise 7 . For others it means a desirable 
move towards the creation of something like "Ubiquitous 
dream societies of icons and aesthetic experience" 8 . For 
people living close to cultural/ creative workers it means 
processes of gentrification. For the education sector it 
means encouragement of creative or project-based learning 
in schools while at university level it means an introduction 
of "innovation", speculation and venture capitalism. Public- 
Private partnerships receive government support particularly 
in higher education (for example through HEROBAC, the 
HEFCE Higher Education Reach-out to Business and the 
Community Fund), where institutions have to commit to the 
agenda of producing a business-oriented and individualized 
creative workforce accustomed to a logic of Intellectual 
Property. Increasingly within Cultural Industries policy, 
and most definitely in the Creative Industries regime, the 
enforcement Intellectual Property law becomes the basis for 
the subsistence of those employed in the CRI. 

It is however important to note that the Creative Industries 
perhaps is not as planned a field as some of its discourse or 
indeed this analysis may suggest. Following the highly complex 
and diverse development of Cultural Industries, the Creative 
Industries is a field that is being installed in and impacts on 
regions and zones in heterogeneous and sometimes hardly 
calculated ways. There has been an explosion of terminology 
around the economy of culture in the past twenty years 
(marked by terms such as Cultural industries', 'creative 
industries, 'creative economy', 'experience industries', 
'content industries', knowledge industries/entertainment 
industries', sunrise industries, future oriented industries, 
copyright industries', '(multi) media industries' etc) which 
may be taken to indicate just how fast shifts within this 
sector occur and how many actors (government, academics, 
business, cultural workers) are involved in analyzing and 
shaping these discourses and developments. 

There is also a t angible impact of CRI policy on the arts, 

6 Britain is arguably the world's most creative 
nation. The top designers at BMW and Apple are British 
and went to British art schools. Britain's music industry is 
legendary having produced groups including the Beatles, 
Rolling Stones, Oasis amongst many others. -British Council 
Creative Industries Core Briefing, http://www.britishcouncil. 
org/creative industries core briefing.pdf visited July 2007 

7 Barbrook, R. (2004) The Class of the New London: 
Mute Publishing Ltd, 2004 

8 Dator, J. and Yongseok Seo (2006), Korea as the 
wave of a future: The emerging Dream Society of icons and 
aesthetic experience 
japan/Korea Wave.pdf visited August 2007 



which constitute one of its main component sectors. 
Commercialization of aesthetic practice and their institutions 
means a decrease in support for small, independent, 
politically or experimentally radical projects. It is also 
frequently argued that the traditionally precarious status of 
most artists becomes transposed to larger populations of 
creative workers in the CRI, through an organization of labour 
as project-based, flexibilized and highly competitive cluster 
activity. While proclaiming a democratization of culture and 
creativity via a rhetoric of horizontality and self-realization, 
the current expansion of the CRI seems to mark a shift away 
from the social towards the economic, producing cultures of 
exclusion and precariousness. There is hardly a CRI policy 
paper that does not speak of opportunity, however in the light 
of cultures of self-exploitation, speculation and bankrupcy 
there cannot really be mention of democratization. The vastly 
problematic implications of ever- increasing marketisation 
of semantic production cause counter- movements to 
emerge. These are heterogeneous, sometimes amorphous 
and mostly in movement, and often affirm an ethics of open 
source, collaboration, critically/ politically/ socially engaged 
practice, self-organization/education, piracy, hacking and/or 

Key points and methodology 

In this text I try to understand the relation of contemporary 
CRI discourses to prior and other ways of speaking about 
culture and creativity, referring to what I would broadly call 
humanist as well as modernist ideas. Initially I will refer 
to Felix Guattari for a delineation of different ideas and 
values invested in the concept of culture. Subsequently 
and throughout the text, I will try to disentangle clusters 
of concepts such as Culture Industry/ Cultural Industry/ 
Creative Industries and creativity/ innovation/ talent as well 
as to some extent knowledge/ immaterial/ creative work (I 
can only hint to analyses of the latter through reference to 
other texts). Much of the delineation of a kind of vocabulary 
of the CRI is based on pieces of government discourse, which 
I will frequently invoke as quotes. 

Another aspect of my analysis is tracing how the CRI is 
defined by new conditions and technologies for production 
and organization, and to outline policies and consequent 
changes brought about by this. There is a place within the 
economic and semantic fields that has opened out in the 
course of complex developments over the past seventy-or-so 
years, which now accommodates the idea and purpose of 
the Creative Industries. This is of course marked by conflict, 
with different actors pulling in different directions and 
advocating divergent and variable strategies with respect to 
CRI development. I will attempt to point out some different 
positionalities and the discourses they engage, particularly in 
the area of policy. One such example is a paper or manifesto 
written by former UK minister of culture Tessa Jowell 9 , as 
well as instances of contemporary cultural policy in Brazil as 
inspired by minister Gilberto Gil. 

Athird point I will keep coming back to concerns the situations 
of those working in the Creative Industries. Similarly to other 
precarious forms of labour, the CRI are characterized by 
flexibilized, insecure and underpaid work- a large economy 
of internships is but one facet of this. While the hype of the 
creative sets the tone of another wave of commoditization 
and exploitation, it bears employment for large numbers of 
people and brings forth new forms of labour. From left to 
right people have argued that the kind of work characteristic 
of the CRI [cognitive, intellectual, creative, immaterial, etc) 
brings forth new ways of relating to work/non-work, exchange 
and society. For some, the ways in which language and the 
transfer of messages becomes both the means and the end 
of a process of production appears to hold much promise 
for the emancipation of the class of (immaterial, cognitive, 
creative, etc..) workers from conditions of domination. For 
others, flexibilized and self-managed labour is synonymous 

9 Jowell, T (2004) Governement and the value of 
visited August 2007 

with exploitation, or to the contrary freedom. The analysis 
of these interpretations and discourses is widely relevant 
for understanding the modes of subjectivation encouraged 
by the CRI regime, helping to perceive the challenges and 
possibilities these developments offer. 

The relations between CRI and education are a fourth recurring 
aspect of this investigation. During my years of study at a 
London art school I observed that the notions of creativity, 
innovation and ' flexibility p\ay a large role in the recruitment for 
production as well as consumption of knowledge goods (within 
markets of knowledge, culture as much as communications 
technology). The liberal arts college has regained relevance 
for the production of national wealth in the context of CRI, 
exceeding the production of just cultural capital. In similar 
developments, secondary and community education come to 
encompass creative training programmes. 

Finally, my attempt at laying out the conditions and discourses 
that inform and legitimize moving notions such as creativity 
and culture into the field of economics serves to hint at 
possible other ways of going about discourse, work and 
policy with respect to the production of signs and meaning. 
It seemed to me important to understand how policy informs 
practice and how this relates to the stakes people like myself 
put into cultural work. I hope to produce an outline that can 
helpfully indicate what different struggles for autonomy in 
this context may be structured by. Moving beyond some of 
the depoliticized cultural forms brought to us via corporate 
as well as government funded culture, and drawing upon 
empowering and critically engaged modes of relating to 
knowledge and creativity is a challenge lots of people are 
busy with. While such a struggle can hardly be relevant if 
based upon lament and nostalgia, an engagement with critical 
analysis helps to suggest strategies and positionalities that 
go beyond complacency and defeatism, or opportunism and 
discursive game. It seems to me that spaces related to art and 
culture hold much potential for encouraging the facilitation 
of debate, movement and research around contemporary 
cultural, social and political activities and developments, 
their realities and relations to markets. 

1. Culture and Industry 

The Culture Industry 

When tracing the history of the concept of "Creative 
Industries", there are many possible paths to take. The 
Frankfurt Schools "Culture Industry" concept is one evident 
trajectory, marking the first generic term that appeared 
in the context of expanding economies of mass cultural 
production. While there is certainly a correlation between 
Culture Industry and CRI, it needs to be noted that the Culture 
Industry concept has much more of a history, outlining some 
of the developments that make conditions of possibility for 
the CRI. New technologies enabling the mass distribution of 
culture, and a clear reference to fordist modes of production 
and dissemination are at the heart of the Culture Industry 
paradigm, and can help situate the different context in which 
the CRI is situated- a new organization of labour within 
knowledge economies. 

"Kulturindustrie", best translates as "Culture Industry" and is 
a term that was coined by T.W. Adorno and M. Horkheimer in 
the 1940s 10 , mainly to substitute for the word 'mass culture' 
in their theoretical writing 11 . "Mass Culture" appeared too 
ambivalent a term, because it not only implies a centralized 
way of producing/ distributing culture but also carries an 
undertone of a culture of the masses, made by and for the 
masses. "Culture industry" seemed to appropriately de-mystify 
the idea that the role of culture in war/post-war Europe at 

10 Adorno. T.W. and Horkheimer, M. (2002) Dialectic 
Of Enlightenment Stanford: Stanford University Press 

11 Due to its historical context, the "Cultural 
Industries" and related policy is closer to an application 

of this concept than CI policy. My focus here is however on 
the "Culture Industry" as a conceptual framework outlining 
some of the conditions for existence of the CI. 

the beginning/middle of the 20th century could be anything 
but instrumental to the perpetuation and accumulation 
of ideologies and capital, losing its critical potential in the 
process. While A+H elaborated on much of this during the 
second World War, much of Adornos writing comes from his 
time in the postwar US. The US under Roosevelt and Europe 
under Hitler showed similarities in their employment of mass 
media as tools for large scale subjectivation 12 . As such, this 
first conceptualization of a mass economy of culture by A+H 
carried very negative connotations. 

"Culture Industry" referred to the mass production and 
distribution of symbolic structures and associated products 
to a wide populace, wherein those were subject to industrial, 
quasi assembly-line production and no longer depended so 
much on artistic genius or craftsmanship, A+H suggested. The 
opposition of the Culture Industry to supposedly true or high 
art production is implicit in A+Hs writing. The "high art" that 
A+H valued could apparently not exist in a populist economy 
of culture, wherein mass appeal and accessibility became the 
main criteria for the production of signs and codes (rather 
than prestige within a small circle of connoisseurs). 
The Culture Industry referred to a framework of centralized 
state media and cultural institutions and an increasing 
influence of corporations thereupon, putting powerful 
conglomerates in a position to mainstream ideas- mainly 
nationally but increasingly also internationally, an example 
being the export of Hollywood films. This was made possible 
via new communications technology that could broadcast 
information via long distances and at fast pace, delivering 
products such as radio shows, music, film and television 
as well as news and advertising to large audiences from a 
central source. 

The concept of Culture Industry has been highly influential in 
terms of offering an analysis of a mass production of culture, 
and was taken as a warning of the influence of US cultural 
exports, which led most European countries to refrain from 
structuring cultural policy accordingly. It was only in the 
1970s that the UNESCO adopts the idea of "free flow of 
information", however as a democratic principle, not as a 
means of defending the interests of American Transnational 
Corporations (UNESCO policies like the "cultural exception", 
which aims to protect local culture through not liberalizing 
fields such as audiovisual production, attest to this today) 13 
. The UK, France and Holland adopted the Culture Industries 
as model similarly early, taking account its critique by A+H to 
different degrees. 

A core philosophical question raised by A+Hs Culture 
Industry concept is that around the value assigned to culture. 
In how far does an instrumentalization of cultural activity for 
economic purposes bear danger? What were the relations 
between economy and culture throughout the centuries, 
and how did the 20 th century differ from those? How are we 
to define "cultural activity" in the first place- what kind of 
concept is culture? 


Felix Guattari offers an analysis of ways of conceiving of 
culture in his essay "Culture; un concept reactionnaire?", 
which goes a long way in illuminating the link between 
Culture- and Creative Industries. He argues that culture is 
a profoundly reactionary concept, because it can only exist 
when limited to certain spheres and applications, such as 
the market, nationalism or collectivism. "Culture" can not 
autonomously exist otherwise, because the kind of activity 
it refers to is inseparable from life, hence to call only certain 
things by this name (such as certain products/ productions, 
things of a certain origin etc) is a reactionary gesture. 

12 While Edward Bernais was in the process of 
"inventing" PR and consumer culture in the US, Hitler was 
forging a racist and nationalist kind of culture in Europe. 

13 For a brief yet excellent history of the Culture 
Industries concept in relation to Cultural Industries, see 
Segers, K. and Huijgh, E. (2006) Clarifying the complexity 
and ambivalence of the Cultural Industries, Gent, Re- 
creatiefvlaanderen Research Project http://www. re- 200602.pdf . visited 
September 2007 



In capitalism, "culture" is to subjectivity what capital is to 
economy- a means of subjectivation, which allows this system 
to function as it does. The particular form of subjectivation 
favoured in capitalist culture is that of individuation, which 
occurs en masse through personal and psychological as 
much as machinic, economic, social, technological, iconical, 
ecological, ethological, mediatic systems- the notion of 
"culture" being at the forefront of most of them. 

According to Guattari, there are three main ways of 
encapsulating "culture" by way of assigning specialized value 
it. The first such conception of culture corresponds to some 
extent with the idea of "high" and "low" culture as invoked by 
A+H. This refers to "culture" as a means (and end) to making 
power relations, by virtue of which the status of an elite is 
legitimized and maintained. In this sense, the distinction 
between cultivated/ uncultivated people, high/ low culture 
or sophisticated/ popular culture qualifies who has access 
to and controls semiotic production and structures of power 
and decision making. This conception of culture helps sustain 
processes of subordination along the axes of class, race and 
gender 14 . Culture in this sense is something one does or does 
not have (and only rarely can acquire), defining social and 
economic status. 

The second way of investing the notion of culture with 
meaning is somewhat opposite to the first one- referring to a 
collective asset, something that everybody has and that can be 
categorized ad infinitum via anthropological or ethnological 
methods. Culture as the essence and soul of civilization, 
a kind of a priori which in its different manifestations or 
classifications can serve nationalist (Volkskultur), conservatist 
(culture francaise) as well as universalist (cultures of the 
world, UNESCO) agendas. This second variant is frequently 
employed in government discourse and specifically marks 
cultural policy documents, which often describe the value of 
culture in national as well as collective and humanist terms (I 
will refer to this later on). 

The third common notion of culture is that of a field of 
production and consumption of (often immaterial) goods- 
this industrial kind of culture is also at the basis of "creative" 
culture in its CRI encapsulation. "Culture" in this sense 
denotes anything that contributes to semiological production- 
be it books, films, studios, persons, equipment, museums, 
cultural centers, media etc- and that thereby contributes to a 
market that can be regulated to a greater or lesser extent. It is 
the sphere in which culture neither refers to the collective nor 
the exclusive, supposedly keeping clear of value judgement 
(while in actuality engaging both the first and second concept 
of culture in favour of the third) and primarily referring to 
an entity that has a place in a market. The exclusiveness 
that is characteristic of the "high/ low" or "innate" type of 
culture subsists in its economicist bias. This is because it is 
again based upon thinking culture separately from politics 
and everyday life, this time as a ghetto characterized by 
the monetary (not privilege or authenticity). It is not that 
it does not make sense to speak of "culture" as a field of 
the production and reception of signs. Because semiotic 
activity forms the very basis of our lives and subjectivities, 
we need to move beyond its encapsulations, appropriating 
and subverting in a singular not individualized way. Guattaris 
argument is situated in the context of Brazil in the 1980s, 
where such a movement seemed possible. By this time, the 
"Cultural Industries" had been coined as a generic term 
marking the expanding economy of culture as subject to 
policy, investment and increasing analysis. 

Cultural Industries and Creative 

There is a lot of confusion around the concepts of Culture/ 
Cultural and Creative Industries, which often seem to be 
used interchangeably. The "Cultural Industries" has been an 
official term since the 1970s, when it came to be subject to 
policy at the UNE SCO, as well as in the US, UK, France and 

14 An obvious example are colonialist discourses 
that assume there are uncultivated or uncivilized people as 
opposed to cultivated and civilized ones, and that the latter 
should dominate over the former. 

Netherlands. At UNESCO and in Europe, it demarcated de/ 
regulatory policies, bringing the "Culture Industry" concept 
to a critical policy level. While the "Culture Industry" and 
"Cultural Industry" clearly emerged in the 20 th century, the 
"Creative Industries" was a term that came to be frequently 
used since the 1990s and bears close connection to the 
dotcom boom and the beginnings of knowledge economies. 
Intellectual property is at the center of the CRIs economically 
oriented policy. Cultural Industries also embrace IP fully 
since the late 20 th century, however they are based on an 
older and more socially and democratically oriented model 
of cultural production than CRI, which stem out of a context 
of a knowledge economy, of the digital and post-fordist 
production. The modes of dissemination and production 
engaged by the CRI are defined by this right from the start. 

The emergence of creative industries is related to the rise 
of culture industries [sic], the significance of knowledge 
to all aspects of economic production, distribution and 
consumption, and the growing importance of the services 
sector 15 

The most mentioned factors contributing towards the 
development of the Cultural Industries into a flourishing 
economic sector include: rising prosperity in industrialized 
regions A increasing leisure time, rising levels of literacy, links 
between the new medium of television and new discourses of 
consumerism, theincreasingimportanceof 'cultural hardware' 
(hi-fi, TV sets, and later VCRs and personal computers) for 
the consumer goods industry, and so on 16 . Television and 
Radio, which Adorno commented on extensively, marked the 
beginning of an age in which informational networks started 
to go global, making communications and information design 
increasingly important sectors of industrialized countries, 
particularly for spreading the cultural and economic hegemony 
of the so-called West. With these possibilities to mainstream 
culture on a global scale, a shift occurred in industrialized 
countries from manufacturing jobs to services jobs: 

Between 1971 and 2001, Britain lost 4m manufacturing jobs, 
but gained 3m business service jobs, 2,3m jobs in distribution 
and leisure, and 2m positions in the public sector 17 

The creative economy in Britain today employs 1.8m 
people 18 . The growth of the internet further reinforced 
and accelerated the production and distribution of signs, 
enabling the development of a new sector of economy which 
is increasingly informational, global and networked (Terry 
Flew) and creating jobs in the process. While leading towards 
the CRI, this technological change also brought forth peer to 
peer infrastructures and collaborative modes for sharing ideas 
and information, which are incorporated in the CRI concept 
alongside strictly proprietary and individualistic models. 19 

All of these shifts could and have however also been 
incorporated by the Cultural Industries. What marks the 
difference between such an incorporation and the CRI regime 
is that the latter extends beyond the sphere of cultural policy. 
At the basis if this is the linguistic shift from "cultural" to 
"creative", which allows for a further injection of the economic 
into policy that m ight not be possible on a similar scale in 

15 Flew, T. (2002) Beyond ad-hocery: defining 
the creative industries 
archive/00000256/ visited August 2007 (note the use of 
the term "Culture Industries", a mix of A+Hs concept and 
the "Cultural Industries") 

16 Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Staying 
ahead, (Introduction), ibid 

17 Nathan, M. (2005) Centre for Cities Discussion 
Paper- The Wrong Stuff? Creative class theory, diversity and 
city performance UK: Institute for Public Policy Research 
aS p?id=448 visited August 2007 

18 Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Staying 
ahead, (Introduction), ibid 

19 While describing the internet as a constitutive 
part of the knowledge economy, it is important to note that 
within the internet as much as the creative sectors, different 
forms of economy exist- high tech gift economies are often a 
starting point for the networked production of signs. 

the context of Cultural Industries, because of the democratic 
and critical principles inscribed in them. 
From the context of the UK, the rise of Cultural Industries 
policy and terminology is often explained via the Greater 
London Councils development of cultural policies in the 1980s 
and onwards 20 . Andy Pratt and David Hesmondhalgh suggest 
that one factor for the change in terminology was the desire 
of the politically centrist UK labour government of the late 
1990s to distance themselves from the activities of left-wing 
metropolitan councils such as the Greater London Council and 
Sheffield in the 1980s. This was a step towards liberalization 
of cultural policy that the CRI now incorporates. 

The Cultural Industries and the Creative Industries regimes 
don't foreclose one another, indeed they perfectly coexist in 
(post-) national economies. In the UK, the CRI have gained in 
momentum since the 80s, while on mainland Europe they are 
being introduced more slowly into prevailing socially oriented 
cultural policies. The term "Creative Industries" shows to have 
been increasingly in use since 1990, most frequently in the UK 
(where a liberalization of cultural sectors has been ongoing 
since 1980 and had much impact on business, education 
and urban planning) and in France (where a minister of 
culture Jack Lang in 1982 held a plea for more government 
intervention in this field) 21 . But even in countries with 
advanced CRI policies, certain cultural sub-sectors continue 
to be subject to regulation (such as film, radio, television; 
libraries, archives and museums)- as propose protectionist 
measures of UNESCO 22 . 

This does not mean that Cultural Industries are not part of 
the picture anymore. It does not seem possible at this point 
to draw a distinction between Cultural Industries and Creative 
Industries based on fundamental differences- the two merge 
to various degrees in different national policies. However it 
can be said that certain tendencies are more present in the 
concept of CRI, such as the exploitation of IP and increased 
deregulation. In the UK, a new report now suggests that the 
CRI entail the Cultural Industries rather than vice versa. 
Clearly the CRI is gaining momentum in post- industrial 
societies 23 , and its regime comes to dominate over many 
types of production. 

2. Creative Industries 

Definitions and Organization 

The creative industries is a field which some take to include 
not only 

[... ^advertising, architecture, the art and antiques market, 
crafts, design, designer fashion, film and video, interactive 
leisure software, music, the performing arts, publishing, 
software and computer games, television and radio, but also 

20 Hesmondalgh, D. and Pratt, A. (2005) Creative 
Industries: Cultural Industries and Cultural Policy 
International Journal of Cultural Policy Vol 11, No. 1 www. visited 
August 2007 

The culture industries began to emerge as an issue in local 
policy-making in London early 1980, and were implemented 
in Sheffield's culture industries policies, which helped to 
spread the notion of local culture-industries policies, in 
particular the notion of 'the cultural quarter' 

21 Segers, K. and Huijgh, E. (2006) Clarifying the 
complexity and ambivalence of the Cultural Industries, 
Gent, Re-creatiefvlaanderen Research Project 
srcvwp 200602.pdf . visited September 2007 

html eng/questionl7.shtml visited September 2007 

23 In UK government policy reports, the CRI seem 
to be at the center of attention with less mention of 
Cultural Industry and no mention of Culture Industry 
occurs. In European Union and national cultural policy on 
the Continent, the term Culture Industry appears more 
frequently still. 



low art' forms such as heritage, tourism (cultural and mass), 
and sport 24 

...but also manufacturing industries such as CD pressing 
plants, the printing of inlays, distribution and retail. If 
seen in all its aspects as an economic sector, the CRI 
include various facilities for the production of hardware and 
knowledge products. This conglomerate of sectors seems 
highly problematic, since each of its component fields has 
a different investment in "culture", a different history and 
engages different modes of production. While levels of 
deregulation differ for each of these fields even in Creative 
Industries policy, the question perhaps is how long this is to 
last under a regime clearly and explicitly following economic 

In geographic terms, the CRIs increasing economic importance 
today is not limited to the northern hemisphere or so-called 
West, but to information-driven societies. The UNESCO 
reports that the "culture industry" markets have changed 
from being dominated by US business to being fairly equally 
distributed between US, Europe and Asia today 25 . At the 
same time, power and profit today resides with a few global 
megacorporations that produce, market and patent cultural 
products (Viacom, Time Warner, Disney; Bertelsmann; Sony; 
News Corporation, Seagram..)- those are mainly based in the 
US. High literacy, access to education, media, technology and 
a mass market for culture, are prerequisites profitable CRI- in 
this respect there are new and potent markets developing in 
Asia particularly. 

antiques markets, as well as television, publications and 
spectacle, each of which raise enormous profits. The UK 
engage a well trained and educated population of creative 
workers that get much support from government for 
developing business and products if they play by the rules 
of IP, self- exploitation and gentrification. In this sense, CRI 
operate on national levels- nation states increasingly compete 
for extensive accommodation and education of CRI workers 
who hold the promise of bringing future wealth. The CRI 
function internationally in the sense of being embedded 
in and constitutive of a globalised market for information, 
knowledge, communications strategies and technologies, 
and also because there are transnational strategies for 
development of CRI such as those of the European Union. 

Who are Creative Industries workers 
and what difference do they make? 

Those who might be referred to as CRI workers are hard to 
trace statistically, since much of the work in the creative 
sector occurs without long- term contracts, unregistered 
and/or for free, and/or tax-exempt. There can hardly be a 
reasonable analysis of average incomes or working conditions 
beyond the different sectors that constitute the CRI. While the 
CRI and corresponding jobs grow exponentially, there is still 
much to be understood about the way these jobs function- 
how well they pay, how long they last, what kinds of lifestyle 
they require and foster, what the futures of young generations 
of CRI workers might look like, and how this differs within the 
CRI. 27 

a desired or consciously elected state, but that the economy 
of internships, short term and flexible labour that emerges 
through the demand for visibility and success within the 
cultural- creative sector forces workers to make themselves 
precarious, taking up lots of jobs, working for free here and 
there, and trying to fill CVs with experiences that raise their 
cultural capital. This can determine the lives of both manual 
and cognitive workers, of cleaners as much as programmers, 
and is often contingent with the financial, family and 
residency status. Minimum access to former public services 
such as medical care, insurance, pensions are characteristic 
of precarity. 

The problem with most intellectual and CRI work is that, 
whether in the context of self employment or a contract, 
labour time is hardly structured by working hours and most 
of the time far exceeds the time one would spend working 
in any kind of office job on a similar or higher salary. The 
highly competitive jobs in the CRI mostly require teamwork, 
and while this might give the allusion of collaboration or 
horizontal power relations, the contrary is mostly the case. 
Relationships between people in higher and lower positions 
are casual, which makes it even more difficult to leave work 
at a given time when the boss, who one is on friendly terms 
with, is still sitting in the back office. 

Relating these living and working conditions to those of the 
industrial proletariat and its struggle, the term "precariat" 
has been coined and invested with the hope for a new class 
consciousness. In referring to those primarily working 
intellectually, Franco "Bifo" Berardi suggested the term 
"cognitariat", a working class of intellectual workers who 
often hold university degrees and come from lower middle 
class families yet live precariously. Again there is allusion 
to possibilities for solidarity and movement among such 
people 30 . Overtly political in their emphasis, the mentioned 
conceptualizations are meant to help understand and subvert 
shifting processes of subjectivation in order to bring about 
social change, not to count or classify people. In the framework 
of economy-oriented CRI policy on the contrary, increasing 
attempts to statistically capture and categorize workers are 
undertaken, in order to understand the their lifestyles and to 
build on new ways of disciplinary subjectivation from there. 
Discourse is one crucial means for doing this, and will be 
investigated further on. 

The "Creative Class" 

The probably most well known theory about the subjects of 
creative labour is that of the "Creative class". It refers to the 
benefits of a high-skilled creative or cognitive workforce that 
works on designing and managing information and is mostly 
based in urban cores and brings major revenue to cities. This 
part of the CRI has received much attention and praise in 
recent years, after Richard Florida published a book that was 
to become a kind of bible for urban and CRI policy makers as 
much as creative enterprises. 

His 2002 book "The Rise of the Creative Class" proposes 
that 31 

metropolitan regions with high concentrations of high- 
tech workers, artists, musicians, gay men, and a group he 
describes as "high bohemians", correlate with a higher level 
of economic development than cities and regions that are 
lacking these. [...] attracting and retaining high-quality talent- 
rather than building large job-creation infrastructure projects 
such as sports stadiums, iconic buildings, shopping centres 
- would be a better primary use of a city's regeneration 
resources for long-term prosperity [...] Florida has devised 
his own ranking systems that rate cities by a "Bohemian 
index, " a "Gay index, " a "diversity index" and similar criteria. 
(Wikipedia: Richard Florida) 

30 Berardi, F.B. Interview with Matthew Fuller http:// 2/contributorsO/bifotext.html visited 
August 2007 

31 Florida, R. (2002) The Rise of the Creative Class 
■ Why cities without gays and rock bands are losing the 
economic development race http://www.washingtonmonthiy. 
com/features/2001/0205.f lorida.html visited August 2007 

It is mainly in urban cores that information gets designed, 
content gets created and desire produced, while at the 
center as well as the margin there are information processing 
factories and telecommunications centers that constitute a 
huge, but less visible part of the CRI. Much of the work that 
gets categorized as CRI-relevant is outsourced (call-centers, 
hardware manufacture, film production, etc). Arguably there 
is little guarantee for tolerable working conditions in such 
production spaces, however there are also large numbers of 
information workers working under precarious conditions in 
city centers and suburbs. Working conditions vary greatly, and a 
detailed analysis of the divergent modes of cultural production 
would be very necessary to understand how divergent forms 
of labour can come together under the concept and policy 
of CRI. In the many fields lumped together under the CRI 
there are expectations and subjectivities that greatly vary. It 
is clear that not all people working in the creative economy 
have their employer or state provide them with social security, 
a decent contract and wage, or the feeling that they are being 
creative and free. There should be no illusion that CRI labour 
necessarily means teamwork and champagne- sipping, or that 
it is marked by any more freedom than a teaching job- the 
contrary is perhaps the case. Gerald Raunig calls the creative 

[...] postfordist versions of the huge structures of culture 
industry, which tend to limit, rather than to expand the range 
and the concepts of what is mainstreamed as culture. [...] 
Cultural heritage thus develops into a tool for restricting 
the public spheres, culture industries turn out to induce 
postfordist processes of (self-) exploitation, and cultural 
identity becomes a concept to justify exclusion and wars. 26 

Within the UK, the CRI are most focused on knowledge 
and software production, notably the games, design, arts+ 

24 quoting the UK governments Creative 
Industries website us/ 
creativeindustries/ visited May 2007 

25 figures according to a UNESCO faq on "Cultural 

26 Raunig, G. and Kaufmann. T. (2002) Anticipating 
European Cultural Policies 

Position Paper on European Cultural Policies by Therese 
Kaufmann/ Gerald Raunig, eipcp, Vienna, ei pep http://eipcp. 
net/policies/aecp/kaufmannraunig/en : see also http:// for an eipcp issue on the "critique of 
creative industries" , visited August 2007 

Intellectual, Cognitive, Creative, Cybernetic, Virtuoso, ... 
labour and the kinds of subjects and social dynamics these 
generate has been extensively theorized from both the left and 
the right (since the industrial revolution until this day 28 ). There 
are various claims as to how this "new class" of knowledge 
workers would transform things; by generating prosperity 
via IP, by forging a new class consciousness, by revitalizing 
run-down areas, by making virtuosic and subversive use of 
technology and design, by forging a new kind of flexibilized 
labour, by forging cybernetic communism through peer-to- 
peer culture, and so forth. 

In the context of operaismo for example, Paolo Virno speaks 
about the virtuosity of what he calls Culture Industry labour 
as opposed to fordist labour- communicative activity which 
has itself as an end- and because of the political potential of 
any activity without an end, he assigns it political potential 29 . 
The concept of the multitude and its organization for him is 
closely connected to the form and organization of virtuosic 

Precariousness, Precarity or the Precariat are often invoked 
to refer to the 'new class' of workers, of which the creative 
and cognitive labour sector constitutes a significant part, be 
it manufacturing of computer chips, designing of websites or 
writing of scholarly articles. 

Coming from the French term precarite, precarity is a very 
recent term used to refer to either intermittent work or, more 
generally, a confluence of intermittent work and precarious 
existence. In this latter sense, precarity is a condition of 
existence without predictability or job security, affecting 
material or psychological welfare. 
(Wikipedia, precarity, Oct 06) 

Gerald Raunig refers to the 'self- precarization' of cultural 
producers. I expect he does not mean to say that precarity is 

27 Total creative employment increased from 1 . 6m 
in 1997 to 1.8m in 2005, an average growth rate of 2% 
per annum, compared to 1% for the whole of the economy 
over this period. Department for Culture, Media and Sport 
(DCMS) UK (2006) Creative Industries Repor t http://www. library/Research/statistics 
outputs/creative industries eco est.htm visited July 2007 

28 Barbrook, R. (2004), ibid 

29 Virno, P (2004) A Grammar of the Multitude: 
section 4.5 Culture Industry: anticipation and paradigm, 
Paris: Semoitexte 
fcmultitude3.htm visited July 2007 



While it takes many of his cues from the growth of the London 
creative sector and the influence of policy upon it, Floridas 
model has been taken up by many city councils (including 
London) as a means to attracting capital into low-income 
urban areas. The problem with Floridas regeneration theory, 
which works very well in terms of economic profit, is that it 
encourages processes of exclusion through gentrification -a 
process the upper strata of creative workers is involuntarily 
implicated in. For people existing in the areas in question- be 
they low-income families, creative workers, migrants, elderly 
people and so forth, it implies rising rent prices or even 
eviction or demolition of (mostly social) housing, and the 
colonization of neighbourhoods by well-off young workers, 
families and consumers. Existing communities disintegrate 
while inhabitants are forced out of those districts towards 
suburban areas, where gentrification processes are bound 
to sooner or later repeat 32 . The atmosphere of creativity, 
openness and tolerance characteristic of low-income "creative" 
areas results is bleak commercialization that comes in the 
form of top-down imposed "culture zones". As such, Floridas 
consultancy firm is highly successful 33 . Examples of "Master 
Plan" regeneration projects and their effects on communities 
and urban design are abundant- whether or not they refer 
to creative workers as a starting point for regeneration, the 
accommodation of CRI businesses is usually a concern. Within 
the UK, the installation of the Sheffield Cultural quarter 34 is 
an example. 

3. Creative Industries policy 

Intellectual Property 

Within the CRI, exploitation of Intellectual Property is a key 
phrase. There is paradox in positing non-diminishable and 
collective resources such as knowledge, ideas and creativity 
as proprietary. The proposal of exploitation always refers to 
a resource, and while natural resources are more tangible 
through being easy to locate and finite, it is not clear how 
knowledge and creativity can be understood in this sense. 
Ideas can not really be finite nor attached to one single 
person, and so a generation of scarcity of knowledge needs 
more than just a proprietary regime, but a new mode of 
understanding knowledge generally. It seems to me that this 
is achieved through a discourse that has been on the rise with 
knowledge economies 35 . 

Nurturing and rewarding creative talent is the start of the 
intellectual property value chain and Intellectual Property 
Rights (IPR) are at the core of creative industries existence. 
However, government recognises issues surrounding IPR are 
of significance beyond the 'creative industries' and must be 
considered in tha t context. The creative industries are one of 

32 (34) The "regeneration" phases within the urban 
areas in question are generally portrayed as a glorious 
succeeding of creativity, sanitariness and growth over bad 
infrastructure, stagnation and misery, like an urbanist 
American dream coming true. What occurs during 
gentrification processes is merely a displacement of misery 
and not its undoing. People who can't afford to invest in 
private housing or privatized education will not come to be 
part of an affluent creative class and not have a part of any 
creative quarter unless councils make a concerted effort to 
support and include them, the contrary of which is generally 
the case. Regenerated areas often do not permit for organic 
growth of communities and space, but prescribe a strict 
regime of allocation to consumers, affluent residents, small 
creative businesses and corporations. Investors rarely have 

a stake other than financial in the concerned district, for 
example its social history or future. 

33 (35) visited May 

34 (36) ( . 2004- 

35 (37) Wikipedia defines "knowledge economy" like 
this: interconnected, globalised economy where knowledge 
resources such as know-how, expertise, and intellectual 
property are more critical than other economic resources 
such as land, natural resources, or even manpower. 

the UK's major economic success stories, growing at more 
than twice the national average, representing 8% of GDP. Yet 
they are facing opportunities and threats - particularly with 
the advent of the digital environment and advances in new 
technologies. The effective exploitation of IP will be the key 
to their success in meeting these challenges and continuing 
this economic growth. 

Reference to success, threat/security and opportunity help 
with ignoring the question: what will happen if the realm of 
ideas, like the material world, becomes subject entirely to 
ownership regulations? Will it mean the immediate absorption 
of any idea into the market, so that only ideas of a certain 
age would be "free" and the all the rest would be free market 
ideas (assuming copyright law remains limited to the lifetime 
of an author plus some years)? 

The timely reference to "threats" links up with discourses 
surrounding terrorism in the context of a politics of fear, and 
is an effective way of proposing IP as a must-be. References 
to opportunity and wealth are also highly appealing when left 
so vague. The "threats" alluded to include the open source 
and hackers movement as much as free webcasting and 
horizontal organizational forms that come about through 
software such as Wikis and file sharing sites and programs. 
Since IP is the guiding principle of CRI success, it will be 
important to legitimize the criminalization of those treating 
knowledge as a common resource, and the marginalization of 
free and open access networks. While peer to peer culture will 
continue to exist, technological devices (such as the IPod) will 
cooperate with government policy to make it difficult if not 
impossible to get access to cultural products without paying 
money for it. Court cases are only one way of safeguarding 
IP The general enforcement of a legislation impacts not only 
cultural production, file sharing or research and development 
in science and medicine (where IP and patents were firmly 
established), but also on how people communicate and share 
thoughts with eachother on a daily basis. 

It is worth mentioning the Creative Commons, alongside many 
other efforts to counter Intellectual property regimes and the 
transformation of knowledge and creativity into products 
and shares. If these initiatives are not the main subject of 
my text this is because my aim here is to understand the 
larger (economic, legal, discursive) frameworks they operate 
in- as a way of both providing context and reference for these 
initiatives, be they in the fields of education, art, science etc. 
CC licences are surprisingly popular amongst UK artists, a 
survey by the Arts Council has shown- some 170.000 websites 
in the UK now licence their work under the creative commons- 
including not only young artists but also the Tate and similar 
big arts business 36 . In 2006, open content licencing has been 
taken up by the BBC in its Creative Archive campaign which 
encourages you to "Rip it. Mix it. Share it. Come and get it." 
while offering a licence that closely resembles the Creative 
Commons share-alike, non-commercial, attributive licence- 
with the added condition that all material is only to be further 
used within the UK 37 . It seems possible to put open content 
licencing to use in order to share and restrict creativity and 
knowledge within a national framework. 

Cultural policy and Open source 

There are ways to think socially about learning, knowledge 
and culture. Not only small scale initiatives and organizations 
operate with and ethics of sharing and empowerment 
beyond national, gender or class boundaries, furthering the 
use of Open Source and increased accessibility of artistic 
strategies and education to a wide population. There are also 
some governments that take on this ethics, particularly in 
contemporary South America. 

In Brazil there are various schemes along these lines in 
place, and have been going since some years now, backed by 
President Lula an d Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil. One such 

36 (38) 
view/1032/182/ visited July 2007 

37 (39) 
archives/2005/03/the rules in br l.html visited August 

scheme prescribes that 80% of businesses and government 
agencies in the country convert their Computers operating 
systems to Linux, an open source code. This will, through 
a gradual migration campaign, come to allow communities 
and agencies to customize their software to their own needs, 
share expertise and learning, engage the wider community 
in digital culture and finally rid the state of its dependency 
on Microsoft and exorbitant package fees. This initiative is 
complemented by a radical programme that distributes old 
computers from businesses or government to self-education 
centers poor areas, where they are set up as linux platforms 
and local digital workshops are established, granting people 
of all incomes access to the internet and digital technology. 
The Brazilian Ministry of Culture offers various education 
programmes, online platforms and networks for debate 
and learning about the values of culture. This facilitation of 
platforms encourages autonomous learning and sharing of 
skills, which represents an approach totally opposite to the 
infusion and subtle indoctrination with market knowledge 
that the UK CI education schemes are working towards 
under a New Labour governement. Within contemporary 
Brazilian cultural policy, the focus on social problems and 
the inclusion of all members of society as active participants 
is a necessarily political act. The notion of inclusion, which 
by US or UK standards frequently means nothing other 
than the tokenistic protection of a few individuals from the 
consequences of the neoliberal policy, which as the source 
of exclusion is supported by these governments. Inclusion 
comes to signify something else in the ideas of Gilberto Gil, 
who recognizes that it must mean empowerment, creating 
independence and political thinking as opposed to producing 
more dependency and symbolism- approaching culture as 
shareable and ideas as the open source of the citizens of 
the world. 

There are many other organizations and governments that 
have, largely for financial reasons, made the transition from 
proprietary to open source operating systems 38 . In itself, it 
is of course unlikely that a switch to Open Source software 
can effect much social change if it only applies to centralized 
government service or economic elites and their businesses, 
without being embedded in a cultural policy that engages all 
its citizens with the sharing, programming and collaborative 
creation of culture. 

Cultural policy and Subsidy 

The CRIs straightforwardly profit oriented kind of approach 
offers a convenient way of circumnavigating ideas that might 
otherwise or earlier have informed cultural policy. Particularly 
in relation to the arts A the social, autonomy, excellence and 
access have played an important role for the formulation of 
UK policy in the last thirty years. The CRI is indeed about 
enriching informational or entertainment products through 
artistic techniques, but social, philosophical and political 
problems are beyond its scope. The cultural policies that had, 
in the UK of the 80s and 90s, implemented a mixing of art 
with social or community work seems to fall outside of the 
strict terms of the CRI: the so-called "third sector", where 
artists work with NGOs or other entities who replace the state 
in its social and welfare functions, does not sit well with the 
CRI 39 . Yet the arts, in their entirety, are officially part of CRI in 
the UK as much as where there is a CRI policy in place. With 
respect to the many sectors the CRI include, there have been 
and are different histories and systems of subsidy, private 
sponsorship, or corporate support. For example, publishing 
is based on peer to peer review and gift economies within 
academia, on individual research, subsidized by government 
and self, hardly privately sponsored; while architecture is 
based on competitive team work, subject to government 
regulations, public as well as private funding, however 
considered predominantly as public service; and computer 
games are corporate funded, technology based, and market 
oriented. It is an open question how these fields can coincide 

38 (40) Argentina, China, EU, city of Munich/ 
Germany, etc.. 

39 (41) KulturKontakt Austria (2004), ARTWORKS 
project publication, Vienna; Grasl Druck und Neue Medien . 



within CRI policy, or what other reason there could be for this 
than moving them as far as possible into the real of the economic. 

Public- Private partnerships in art and 

Allocation of funds from private sources is a prerequisite for 
the survival of museums, galleries and art centers as well 
as educational institutions in the UK today 40 . For such a site 
of public interest to become a viable site of investment, it 
needs to enter into a contract of sponsorship, censorship, 
branding, and hence into a regime of visibility and popularity. 
Most institutions and projects in the sector of culture and 
education need to secure a certain amount of investment 
in order to prove their liability for government support. This 
means adopting business models. The emergent 'Public- 
private' governance of initiatives means that transmission and 
research become increasingly difficult due to inaccessibility 
of knowledge (copyrighted and patented information is too 
either expensive or kept secret, particularly in the sciences), 
increasing precarization of jobs that traditionally fell into the 
public sector, and mounting fees for tuition. The "Creative 
London" inititative of the London Development Agency 
describes its agenda for education: 

[...] when it comes to making sure that the right people with 
the right creative skills are always available for the creative 
industries, we're here to work closely with the educational 
and training systems and look beyond traditional institutions 
for talent 41 

The £40 Mio. "Creative Partnerships" initiative (managed by 

40 The estimates for annual corporate arts 
contributions in the United States grew from $161 million 
in 1977, to $496 million in 1987,to $740 million in 1995, 
and to almost $1200 million in 2000, and proportionate 
increases can be witnessed globally (Kindberg, V. (2003), 
Corporate Arts Sponsorship, Chapter 16 in: A handbook for 
cultural economics, by Ruth Towse, UK: Edward Elagar 
Publishing https://ep.eur.nI/bitstream/1765/783/l/ 
TOWSE+EBOOK pages0155-0163.pdf . visited August 2007) 
...while arts sponsorship in most cases entails negotiations 
between artist and funding body, there obviously are 
limitations imposed on artists working with corporate 
sponsors, and these relations are subject to a different 
agenda than those within state funded arts projects. 

With state funding, guidelines involving criteria for public 
outreach, diversity, access and community specificity often 
instrumentalize potentially socially engaged and critical 
projects towards forms of community art as social work, 
watering down the politics of projects. These processes are 
hard to circumvent and perhaps still do benefit communities 
more than any glossy form of more commercial art. 
Corporate sponsorship mostly means bringing content and 
form of art or educational work in line with the corporation 
and its product/s (Nivea funding the Palais de Tokyo 
in Paris: " the skin — in all of its states — is honored".. ) or at 
least disabling any overt criticism of issues that concern 
the sponsor, arguably state funding selects projects by 
standards more related to a projects relevance for a general 
public at a specific time. While the private-public cultural 
spaces that grow everywhere from London to Moscow do 
indeed reach a wider public than traditionally bourgeois 
galleries or theatres, they often sacrifice much of cultures 
potential of proposing (politically positioned, radical) 
critique. Late modernist 'thinking spaces' for the masses, 
such as the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern in London 
(funded by Unilever) mostly host works that impress through 
resembling phallic monuments to schemas of accumulation, 
power, exploitation or excess. In knowledge- driven societies, 
museums, galleries and arty cafes have replaced cathedrals 
and fun fayres, which is to explain the turn-of-century rash 
of monumental museum building projects such as the 
highly- publicised Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the billion 
Dollar Getty Center in L.A, or the reconfigured industrial 
cathedral on the Thames that houses the new Tate Gallery 
of Modern Art. 

41 , visited March 2007 

Arts Council England and funded by the DfES and DCMS) is a 
programme engaging 

young people to experience, learn from and enjoy artistic and 
creative activities [...]: Creativity in all areas of work is widely 
regarded as a critical factor in the future economic success 
of the country It is a source of competitive advantage in a 
knowledge economy and receives considerable Government 
attention and support as a result 42 . 

The Creative Partnerships are a massive investment into future 
generations of CI workers, parallel to the establishment and 
transformation of sites to equip them with further education 
and skills for creative jobs. These jobs will be based upon 
the competitive exploitation of Intellectual Property and the 
increased flexibility which the market requires. 

It is quite clear that the kind of skills employers require now 
include skills that are much wider, that you could broadly 
describe under the headline of "creativity"; team working, 
being able to challenge ideas, to think laterally, to have critical 
understandings; those are very much the skills that Creative 
Partnerships have developed 43 

The Creative Industries Fact File released by the UK Department 
for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) is concerned with 
making links between higher education and the CI: 

DCMS in partnership with Universities UK has established 
a Creative Industries Higher Education Forum. The Forum 
draws together members of Government, creative industries 
and educational establishments to advise Ministers on the 
strategic policies relating to education and research in the 
UK creative industries. [...] Creating strong links between 
Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and businesses is an 
essential part of improving our economic performance, and 
HEIs have an increasingly important role to play in increasing 
the competitiveness of regional economies. 44 

The University of the Arts London is a striking example of 
CI education and Public-Private Partnerships. The university 
presents its development board like this: 

drawing on a broad range of expertise from across the 
creative and corporate industries, the Development Council 
champions the University's development programme 
through the inspiration and generation of philanthropic and 
sponsorship income. 45 

This board consists of CEOs and Ex-CEOs of Sony, BBC, Abbey 
National, Tesco, and so many more businesses, hedge funds 
as well as government departments. It is commonplace to 
lament the privatization of education from both the student 
side (depoliticization, competition, high fees/student debt) 
and the teaching side (censorship, precarious jobs, service- 
character), however the CRI seem to play a particular role in 
this. While a focus on creativity means the breaking away from 
authoritarian modelsof teaching, theCRIseconomicallydriven 
influence on education policy primarily means no "knowledge 
for knowledges sake" but that the efficient education of a 
creative workforce replaces pedagogy or curiosity- driven 
research. Education in this sense might be understood as a 
training for the exploitation of ones own ideas, rather than 
encouraging processes of subjectivation that link creativity 
with agency, criticality or sociality. This is of course down to 
teachers as well as program guidelines, but pressure on the 
former is growing. 

42 and: DCMS. 
Creative Industries Fact File, Pdf 
ci fact file. pdf visited August 2007 

43 quoting James Purnell, Secretary of State for 
Culture, Media and Sport, as appointed on 28th June 2007, 
formerly Minister of Creative Industries: http://www. visited August 

44 DCMS UK, Creative Industries Fact File, Pdf www. fact file.pdf visited May 2007 

45 visited July 

Intellectual Property and education 

While CI students themselves become instrumental to 
value production in the double sense of economic profit 
and of perpetuating cults of creativity, individualism and 
self- exploitation, it is only after the college years that the 
reality of precarious work and life kicks in. The pressing 
point remains how to pursue Open Source as a sustainable 
mode of practice and life within the current system, and how 
to counter the indoctrination with IP logic as a student or 
teacher, questioning the supposedly consensual acceptance 
of IP as inscribed in educational CRI discourse. Within 
university contexts in London, campaigns such as "Own-it" 
are key in producing this consent: 

Within your business or your practice, you 've probably created 
a wealth of in-house ideas, designs, music, writing, images 

- in short, 'intellectual property' - which can make you extra 
money, as long as you give it the proper legal protection. Own 
It will show you how 46 . 

"Own-it" is the "Creative London Intellectual Property Advice 
Service", a campaign to teach CRI workers and students to 
properly copyright their work. The campaign is a collaboration 
between Creative London and the University of the Arts London 
(specifically London College of Communication) 47 . The target 
audience is students at art and design colleges, whose benefit 
to (and success in) the creative economy depends upon their 
understanding anduse of IP rights 48 49 . 

4. Discourse 

The most common notions by which to recognize CRI discourse 
(as a variant of th e third type of culture outlined by Guattari) 


47 Expanding and commercialized educational 
institutions such as the Unviersity of the Arts London 
may serve as examples of how national CI policy can go 
hand in hand with a reinterpretation of pedagogy. Every 
year through the University of the Arts, an average of 
25.000 students get recruited to the world of CI via glossy 
brochures that promise fame and creative careers and are 
distributed in upper class arts and secondary schools in 
not just the Uk but many countries. The university invests 
in massive media and promotional campaigns as well as 
branding in order to attract international students who 
pay roughly 10.000 GBP per year to the Universities in 
fees as well as home students who pay about 3000 GBP 
per annum. The number of students/money attracted and 
visibility/money gained by the University and its students 
and employees in turn leads to further funding from the 
government via the Research Assessment Exercise amongst 
other things. The gained capital is to be invested in the 
further recruitment of students to the institution and 
achievement of more visibility and excellence. "Excellence" 
is one of those buzzwords that justify rigor in learning/ 
teaching/ research primarily if there are measurable 
outcomes, to do with grants, prizes and other investment 
attracted, and see also "UAL ventures" 

48 The figure of the artist often serves as role model 
for creative heroines- supposedly autonomous, governed 
by their own desire, adventurous and bohemian. Artists 
are perfect examples of isolated yet wildly networking 
individuals that exploit themselves in the name of creativity, 
decadence or genius. 

49 An example in Germany is the Volkswagen Autouni 

- a steel and glass corporate university in Wolfsburg with 
a library at the Universitate der Kunste Berlin, which 
collaborates with various other Universities worldwide 
(Stanford/US, Uni der Kunste/ Berlin, etc). VW Uni outlines 
its Philosophy quite blatantly: 

Knowledge affords the crucial competitive advantage in 
today's information society. As a consequence, all teaching, 
training and research activities conducted by AutoUni 
are aimed at making the Group stronger in the face of 
competition. publish/master/en/ 
philosophy.html visited July 2007 



currently appear to be creativity, innovation, enterpreneurship, 
talent, skills, intellectual property, opportunity, knowledge 
transfer. They promise self- realization, via a discourse in 
which pleasure and freedom act as a disciplinary device. 
Below I refer to three of these notions and the way they are 
put to use in different CRI scenarios. 


As many of the quotes in this paper make visible, the word 
creativityhas its heyday within the context of the economization 
of ideas. In its (latin) origin it refers to a potential for growth. 
In the contemporary discourses around the CRI, it insinuates 
a potential that everyone has to bring about something new 
and other at the benefit of society at large, at the same time 
defining the outcome of this process as proprietary. To be 
creative refers to activities that contribute to the making 
of protocols which can be transferred into knowledge 
capital. Creativity hence does not necessarily signify a big, 
mysterious or artistic gesture nor a generous contribution 
or offer to society (with its connotations linked to maternity, 
nourishment, growth and collectivity). The association of 
creativity with self-expression, collectivity and benevolence is 
of course intentional and important for the desire production 
on which the CRI thrives. In real terms however, creativity 
marks a move that allows for the transfer of an aesthetic 
and intellectual configuration into a marketable product. It 
will have to be the production of something new or different. 
Originality plays a role in this, however not necessarily 
denoting authenticity but a trick that marks the intelligent 
use of ones own creative "resource". As such, being creative 
is not necessarily a straightforwardly self-expressive act, but 
an individualized speculative and tactical action. 

Linked to the notions of talent and innovation, creativity is 
a kind of everymans capital, reminiscent of the American 
dream or in any case of something egalitarian: everyone is an 
artist, and it only takes commitment and competitiveness to 
ascend within the world of creativity. While "talent" asserts 
less of an egalitarian viewpoint, it is precisely through the 
coupling of the exclusiveness of "talent" and the inclusiveness 
of "creativity", that makes the CRI attractive. Creativity can 
be related to art, bohemia, genius, autonomy, creationism, 
collectivity, equality, essence and also capital and career, in 
any combination. It is a flexible idea for flexible people. 

The context of the CRI makes a differentiated position on 
creativity necessary: defending it as a collectively accessible 
asset and which no one can definitely appropriate (potential 
for social and political subversion included), or praising it as 
a new kind of ore that can and should be discovered and 
extracted from human brains and communities for exploitation 
(promise of increasing wealth included). Of course such a 
clear cut definition seems implausible, because it would again 
lead to encapsulation and because socially and economically 
oriented ideas about creativity blend to various degrees, with 
accordingly many strategies and kinds of policy. Creativity 
is similar to culture in this sense, a profoundly reactionary 
concept since it can not really be separated from life, but 
is instrumentalized via the construction of a discourse that 
inscribes it in a specific realm such as that of the economic. 


Innovation - the successful exploitation of new ideas - is the 
key business process that enables UK businesses to compete 
effectively in the increasingly competitive global environment. 
The Department is working to stimulate a significant increase 
in innovation throughout the economy. 50 

The link between creativity and innovation is often explained 
as innovation being an application of ideas, approaches 
or actions that creativity produces. In this sense, creativity 
is the mythical process of inspiration and cognition, while 
innovation is the copyrighting and marketing thereof. In recent 
UK government discourse however, innovation increasingly 
appears in relati on to institutions, indeed as an institution 

50 UK Department for Business, Enterprise and 
Regulatory Reform: 
visited August 2007 

itself, an almost mechanical procedure which government can 
give structure and assistance with. It is in this sense that I will 
read innovation, departing from CRI discourse. There seems 
to have occurred a linguistic turn around the millennium 
whereby "innovation" got firmly attached to the exploitation 
of ideas mainly in the CRI, ICT and science sectors. 
Within the UK, the discourses conveying this as well as the 
policies effecting it have been present for some time, and 
notions like research, forecasting and futurecastinghave been 
much linked to innovation, meaning the project of increasing 
business performance and profit through empiricist and 
speculative investigation. (53) 51 Within research culture 
at Universities, this use of the notion of innovation marks 
a shift away from humanist arguments about the value of 
culture and knowledge, moving from a pursuit of knowledge 
for the benefit of civil society to a performance- oriented 
view of knowledge as currency, and creatives, academics 
and scientists as the ones responsible for investing this 
ideas capital into innovative applications. Knowledge transfer 
is the cynical notion that describes this simple process of 
(extraction of ideas)- conversion of ideas into a packet or 
product- transfer or sale to another organization or business- 
application to a market or community). The UK Department 
for Trade and Industries established this as a priority in its 
2002 Review for New Public Spending Plans 2003-2006: 

15.7 Commercial exploitation: universities and public sector 
research establishments are responding to the challenge of 
knowledge transfer. An expanded Higher Education Innovation 
Fund, incorporating University Challenge and Science 
Enterprise Challenge, will benefit from annual funding of £90 
million by 2005-06 (including £20 million from DfES). 52 

The "London Innovation" Initiative by the London Development 
Agency offers another example of how the key terms are put 
to use: 

In order to increase innovation in London's businesses we aim 

* encourage competitiveness, creativity and enterprise 

* increase knowledge transfer and innovation in business 

* promote London's universities as one of the Capital's key 
global strengths 53 

In the popular interfaces of CRI discourse (brochures, 
websites, advertisements), the notions of "creativity" as much 
as "innovation" still carry the aftertaste of ideals of freedom, 
autonomy and genius, while CRI policy discourse makes fairly 
clear that most of these terms, which have been appropriated 
from the cultural sector, are to be read as dispositifs or 
apparatuses that guide the extraction of economic profit, 
correspondingtoclearsetsof procedures, but holdingnoclaim 
to being meaningful beyond this application. With a definition 
of creativity as something quantifiable that comes in pounds 
or points, research, innovation and creativity are currencies 
in the knowledge economy that buy access to survival and 
profit (via funding and investment). Without reference to this 

51 another example of a University Research+ 
Innovation Unit: 

The University of Edinburgh is Scotland's leading research 
university with an international reputation for world- 
class research across a wide range of disciplines. The 
University is also very successful in commercialising the 
major scientific advances, discoveries, inventions and 
innovations generated by this research. Edinburgh Research 
and Innovation (ERI) seeks to promote the University of 
Edinburgh's world-class research and commercialisation 
activities to potential research sponsors and collaborators, 
licensees or investors. 

http://www. visited July 2007 

52 DTI (2002), New Public Spending Plans 2003- 
2006, "Investing in Science, Innovation, Enterprise and 
cm55/5570/5570- 15.htm visited August 2007 

53 London Innovation is an initiative led by the LDA 
to promote the region's key strengths and deliver polices 
which will ensure the future success of London as a base for 
business development. 
visited August 2007 07 

capital, no creative enterprise or individual will succeed in the 
upper strata of the CRI. It is only available to those that have 
already firmly placed their creative capital on the market, 
through university education or other ventures. 


Together with creativity, the notion of talent offers a viable 
approach to recruiting for participation in creative enterprise 
and/or consumption of semiotic products. An interesting 
case study with respect to this is former UK minister of 
culture Tessa Jowells paper (or manifesto) on "Government 
and the value of culture" from May 2004, in which the notion 
of talent is somewhat central. 

Struggling to establish an argument for the value and 
hence public funding of "complex" cultural forms, Jowell 
distinguishes more challenging and deeply enriching/ 
touching art forms from entertainment, however apparently 
without wanting to reproduce set distinctions between so- 
called low and high culture or art. It seems she mainly talks 
about art when she says culture, and indeed her paper is a 
document pertaining to arts policy. This could be read as a 
proposal to go back to the first encapsulation of "culture" 
as described by Guattari, and perhaps it is also because 
public funding for art has a troubled history and fairly small 
acceptance margin in the UK, whereas culture seems more 
legitimate a term to cherish. Jowell launches a complex and 
somewhat unfortunate rhetorical manoeuvre aimed at the 
makers and judges of UK cultural policy: 

[...] We need the mechanisms in place so that a child with a 
talent will be able to take that talent as far as they wish to go, 
bounded only by the limits of that talent, and not constrained 
by their social and economic circumstances. If they decide 
to take their talent as far as it can go, we need the means to 
support them in this. Many of the building blocks are in place, 
many more are still to be put there. But only by accepting that 
it is a child's right to be given the means by which to engage 
with culture will we be able to move forward. By accepting 
culture is an important investment in personal social capital 
we begin to justify that investment on culture's own terms. 54 

She adopts "mechanistic" as well as social democrat (her 
being a labour minister) metaphors to make her point, in 
conjunction with a host of notions that overlap with neoliberal 
CRI discourse, and the celebratory tone of someone arguing 
within a context they know to be somewhat hostile to their 
ideas. In the UK, it seems that culture departments have 
to struggle with the overbearing presence and affirmation of 
national identity via sports- the relations between the state, 
the arts sector and CRI have changed much in recent decades, 
largely due to growing Cultural Industries and CRI. After a 
system of arts subsidy that mainly benefited the prestigious 
and national arts organizations (the patrician elite that is 
blamed to have dominated over cultural production in the UK 
for so long) had been put in place by the Arts Council of Great 
Britain after 1945, in order to promote "British Culture", the 
UK under the Conservatives cut arts subsidy and encouraged 
private sponsorship. From the 90s onward, when the arts 
field had already been considerably commercialized, the Arts 
Council England (under Labour) adopted a more socially and 
diversity-driven arts policy, increasingly engaging the arts as 
"third sector" through which to compensate for the retreat 
of a welfare state, while continuing to encourage corporate 
support. In turn, the arts had been under attack for being 
elitist, and later on, populist- the "access vs. excellence" 
debate. While Jowell advocates a more excellence-driven 
approach, she laments the instrumentalization of art for 
social purposes as well as the popularization of art as a loss 
of quality and real engagement. She speaks of culture in 
order to avoid association with "high art" and also to allow 
for association with "national culture" etc. She is defending 
arts policy against too much of a market oriented approach, 
as is the case with CRI. It is likely that 2004 was a strategic 
moment for her to launch such an argument, as CRI policy 
was becoming more and more of an issue influencing cultural 
policy. Her vocabulary borrows from various discourses to 
make her approa ch appear more plausible. 

54 Tessa Jowell, ibid 



Jowell sets up her argument through a mix of notions: 
exploration; self-confidence; opportunity; investment- 
challenge; access; excellence; success; genius; investment- 
transcendence (the transcendent thrill of great art); 
complexity; human potential; acquiring a sixth (artistic) 
sense; aspiration (and poverty of aspiration as the sixth giant 
form of poverty that needs to be tackled), before getting to 
her point: 

12. Too often politicians have been forced to debate culture 
in terms only of its instrumental benefits to other agendas - 
education, the reduction of crime, improvements in wellbeing 
- explaining - or in some instances almost apologising for - 
our investment in culture only in terms of something else. In 
political and public discourse in this country we have avoided 
the more difficult approach of investigating, questioning and 
celebrating what culture actually does in and of itself. There 
is another story to tell on culture and it's up to politicians in 
my position to give a lead in changing the atmosphere, and 
changing the terms of debate. 

13. Offering improved access to culture for what it does in 
itself is a key weapon in fighting the sixth giant, as I have 
called it. But for it to be effective in this way we have to 
understand it and speak up for it on its own terms - not a 
dumbed down culture, but a culture that is of the highest 
standard it can possibly be, at the heart of this Government's 
core agenda, not as a piece of top down social engineering, 
but a bottom up realisation of possibility and potential. 

Jowell then moves on to talk about fulfillment; indirect benefits 
of art; transformation; access; ladders of opportunity; 
benefit; achieving change by [...] giving access to resources 
and possibilities; trend; elite; pushing boundaries; attraction; 
culture in its own terms; culture as heartland; equality of 
opportunity; fairness; future audiences; building blocks; 
movingforward; excellence; culture and identity; the individual; 
community; nation; population transfer; globalization 
(multiculturalism as the acceptable face of globalization); 
invention; justice; talent; ambition; etc. 

Jowell refers to modernist as well as pre-modernist 
discourses (indirectly to the Frankfurt school, directly to 
John Ruskin and Otto Klemperer) but hardly to postmodern 
or contemporary culture and art theory and practice (off- 
mainstream movements, institutional critique, new media, 
digital culture, film, television, radio, creative industries, etc), 
and while arguing against elitist cultural policy, the "complex" 
cultural forms she argues for cannot be but associated with 
a certain bourgeois and antiquated idea of what art is; 
painting, literature, classical music are the examples she 
cites. While arguing for complex culture because it matches 
our complex age, she still seems set on the idea that the 
modern and analogue is as complex as it gets and finally also 
that arts should make a ground for national identity, another 
dangerously conservative idea. 

Jowell argues that culture has value in and of itself- a 
statement that does not say much since it does not refer to a 
specific interpretation of culture. In terms of Guattaris three 
concepts of culture she invokes to the elitist ("complex") and 
the collective type, to argue against the dominance (but not 
existence) of the popularized, audience- driven third type. She 
effectively suggests that if it has to be driven by a market, 
"culture" could do with a bit more of a type one and two 
approach- sophisticated and fostering a sense of national 
excellence, minus the patrician elite. This proposal of a newly 
differentiated synthesis between the three types of culture, in 
the context of the UK in 2004, suggests a move away from 
the dominant rationale of access. I take it to suggest two 
things: to keep cultural and specifically arts policy separate 
from CRI policy, and to re-regulate it a little. Judging by UK 
cultural policies as of mid-2007, where the Arts Council has 
just lost a third of its entire budget to the Olympic games 
planned for 2007, it is not clear that Jowells speech has had 
much of an impact on cultural policy 55 - if such policy can 
at all be distinguished from CRI policy in this context. Her 
successor as minister of culture is James Purnell, who was 
formerly minister of Creative Industries. 
55 Paradoxically, Jowell appears as a major supporter 
of the Olympic games. 

5. .Conclusion: Responding and 


There increasing awareness of the economization of ideas and 
their transmission and the role CRI may play in this. At least 
on the left, critical analysis and discourses appear to hold 
promise for the development of respondent and differentiated 
strategies and initiatives in the field of "culture". Since 
welfare and job security are on the decline all over the globe, 
questions of countering commercialization and precarization 
become more pressing- and responses perhaps more radical. 
It seems increasingly important to operate strategically within 
as well as outside of institutions and workplaces, following 
up and building on experiences, organizational models and 
networks that aim to establish different ways of operating 
within the field of semiotic production and education. People 
from divergent fields are bound to recognize the similarities 
of their struggles and the need for joint initiatives and 
campaigns that open new possibilities for working, sharing 
and learning. 

With respect to precarious living, it is clear that within the 
CRI - as with most freelance labour- organizing workers is 
particularly difficult, as these jobs are characterized by 
unstable and/or unregistered employment, and a high 
level of individualization. Campaigns that make visible the 
exploitation of the people in question are extremely hard 
to operate, because pointing to the root causes of their 
problems clashes with what is acceptable as critique in 
most public as well as private frameworks. However, more 
initiatives are coming into place and new strategies are being 
devised for understanding and organizing such an intangible 
workforce, and making links between struggles in fields as 
diverse as design, sex work, cleaning, teaching, etc. The 2007 
DCMS report on CRI says that CRI employs lmio people in 
themselves, while 800.000 work in creative professions. If 
this means that 800.000 people fade in and out of CRI as 
freelance workers, there is enormous need and potential to 
address the living conditions and aspirations of such people. 

Art for art's sake - the creative industries are peopled by 
creative talents who themselves get pleasure and utility from 
what they do. They are 'called to their art'. One upside from 
the business perspective (although it attracts complaints of 
exploitation) is that their 'reservation' wages - the lowest they 
are prepared to work for - are lower than the marginal value 
of what they produce, making labour particularly cheap. 
A downside is that the 'talent' care deeply about how the 
creative work is organised, which may discourage concessions 
or compromises to management. 56 

Discourse and Practice 

Fostering a discourse around culture that is disconnected 
from the rhetoric of Corporate-National vocabularies might 
prove impossible. The language surrounding open source, 
alternative organizational models and informal networks 
partly feeds on the buzzwords of big business and policy, 
or has in turn been taken up by those. The exchanges and 
blurring zones between economically and socially oriented 
discourses is perhaps the best point to illustrate that there 
can not be a one-way flow or definitive appropriation of 
ideas. Neither CEOs nor activists can prevent the seepage or 
translation of their ideas into other fields. Adornos comment 
that no form of culture can resist commoditization in the long 
run rings true, but I might add that nothing is resistant to 
hacking either. 

The point is to question and act, not to look for apology: how 
to say "access" and "tolerance" differently seems a difficult 
problem, and it appears to me that responses will come out 
of practices (as much as theories) of organization, and the 
micropolitics of relation and communication. Another kind 
of discourse will not compensate for exclusion and hierarchy, 
because notions of openness, creativity, learning and sharing 
take on meaning only when answered by corresponding ways 
of meeting r spea king, working, questioning and sharing. All 
56 Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Staying 
ahead, (Chapter 4, Defining Creative Industries Challenges, 
point 4), ibid 

these terms are used by big business and state agencies for 
pursuing CI growth. One strategy in this context might be the 
appropriation of "bullshit"-calling, a technique from the field 
of management, which could be applied to both neoliberal as 
well as our own discourses. 57 

The turn towards the "creative" can be seen as a positive 
development in several respects (see the debates around the 
"new class"), despite of the extreme danger it bears. It seems 
that certain policy makers are also responsive to issues 
surrounding these problems, and also that local communities 
campaigning for rights, against gentrification, etc. might have 
a role to play in shaping the way a corresponding movement or 
policy could go. Perhaps a further analysis of these discourses 
and practices, both as left and right employ them, can serve 
to reinvest some of them with meaning, making them tangible 
and translatable to other practices and fields 58 . I suspect it 
depends on the way we interrelate discourse and practice, 
deal with issues of transmission, organization and visibility 
that might bring about awareness and change. Largely this 
will depend upon the way in which we establish and affirm 
our different ways of interacting instead of focusing on the 
visibility of our counter- discourse. 


An earlier version of this text formed the basis of a collective 
reading, editing and discussion session at a Chelsea College 
of Art and Design (London) degree show in summer 2006 59 . 
I graduated from this art school and had been trying 
to understand the financial as well as decision-making 
mechanisms at college and university level (University of 
the Arts London, formerly known as London Institute), which 
myself and others in these institutions found to be highly 
bureaucratic and quite intransparent. The initial text, as 
well as an accompanying series of diagrams (printed at the 
end of this text) were made in response to this, and as an 
intervention into the smooth atmosphere of a graduation art 
show. 60 

Inevitably, this text is fragmentary and based on personal 
experiences and conversations as much as research. The 
particular cases and approaches I address are not meant to 
establish some canon of references but are merely examples 
that struck me as interesting. 

57 An adaptation of the buzzword or bullshit- game, 
as employed in management meetings, goes like this; during 
a meeting or any other kind of language based activity, put 
some cards at the disposal of participants/yourself. On 
those cards, write down terms that frequently appear. If 
during a term appears five times during a short interval, 
jump up with the appropriate card and shout "bullshit". Sekunden fuer Bullshit- 
Bingo . bingo visited 
August 2007 

58 some interesting initiatives in these fields: http:// :; 

59 as part of a self-organized series of events: www. ; 

60 A group of students, tutors and researchers took 
turns in reading the initial text out loud (it was projected 
onto a wall and accessible for live editing as well as 
online on a Wiki), commented on it, edited it and verbally 
related it to their own experiences. It seemed relevant and 
helpful to discuss the role of knowledge production and CI 
education in the UK, and the ways in which artists and other 
culture workers (as most of those present at the debate) 
could position themselves in the field of the CI. For those 
graduating, it seemed a critical moment to reflect on the 
contexts we were coming to recognize ourselves as being 
implicated in, and on ways of proceeding from there. 


Manuela Zechner coordinates the future archive project and 
works with Critical Practice Research Cluster at Chelsea Col- 
lege of Art and Design, London, as well as being engaged 
in various other collaborative projects in the fields of new 
media/ art and education. Her current work centers around 
archives, dialogical practices and future studies. 

trying to represent the financial flows at college and university level: students, teachers and 
visitors make drawings, collide-collabo, chelsea college of art london, degree show, 2006 

A y^WV 

1 J * 


"Intersubjectivity empha- 
sizes that shared cognition 
and consensus is essential 
in the shaping of our ideas 
and relations. Language is 
viewed as communal rath- 
er than private. Hence it 
is problematic to view the 
individual as partaking in 
a private world, which is 
once and for all defined/' n 

o r 


a 'less is 
the taking 


was originally 




better' concept of fru 
of care a^ arriving at 
e o f a\ c t 










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3 3. 


Making tn\case 
The Generalised 
red Interview in thi 
e Genemiis^Stlfvey 
ced to be used in 
the context of a workshop, as a set 
of questions about what you do to 
earn giving. The Generalised Surve; 
s appropriated from surveys ori 
constructed by Karl Marx to be 
ied to French work-in the 
SuGh-iffCfl<er surveys 
was meant to draw together a range 
of issues concerning the organisation 
and structuring of work, so that per- 
haps seemingly unconnected relation- 
ships of industrial organisation would 
emerge in their true communion to the 
surveyed. So why work, in this publi- 
cation? Originally, the workshop con- 
text in which The Generalised Survey 
served as an entry to a methodical ap- 
proach, was part of a week of events 
which dealt quite extensively with the 
so- called "creative industries." Hav- 
ing read this publication you will be 
aquainted with the term. The crea- 
tive industries is a bag concept. It is 
a hard figure to grasp; it is a politi- 
cal model, a conglomerate of market 
actors, part educational reform part 
institutional reform, a network of fi- 
nancial packages, part public part 
private. It is new opportunities and 
a vast system of control. When we 
deal with such complex and interlo- 
cking factors, not least in respect to 
the market, it is tempting to describe 
the object at hand as a 'phenomena 1 
to make it more material. In relation 
to the tendencies we see prominent 
within the creative industries in terms 
of work, much has been made out of 
the 'phenomenons' of flexibility and 
insecurity. The CRI sector makes ex- 
tensive use of unorganised labor and 
various modes of employment com- 
monly described as "precarious": 
insecure, temporary contracts bene- 
ficial to the employer, but compromis- 
ing the rights of employees. 

So, The Genemlise^Snfvey is an at- 
Jejiipt^at^OLTUining an approach for 
assembling and assessing pressum- 
tions, ideas, realities and definitions 
about and of work. Work, in this pub- 
lication, because certain things which 
are, as mentioned earlier, often called 
phenomena, offset the relationship 
between labor and matters ques- 
tioned and analysed elsewhere in this 
publication, such as education, infor- 
mation or artistic practice, in certain 
ways. Said 'phenomena' influence the 
pronounciation and enunciation of 
'work' with regards to definition, role 
and content. Contemporary critique 
of these 'phenomena' places great 
emphasis on the societal effects of 
new, socially expansive, definitions 
of labor and henceforth, it is the idea 
that this approach is illustrated here 
by the example of work, but that this 
way of thinking tools the approach for 
application in other fields of inquiry. 

An ambition of the editor is also some- 
thing of a snapshot of current tenden- 
cies. As such it is really interesting 
to note the rather obvious relation- 
ship between this approach and that 
of, for instance, the 'Future Archive' 
project. While FA takes, as a point of 
entry, a performative and playful ap- 
proach, and this project consentrate 
on the formal and normative 'science' 
and theory of inquiry, both projects 
will in their application share a will- 
ingness towards the examination of 
provitional knowledge, accumulation 
[recording] of experience and hy- 
pothesis. While FA deal with imagined 
futures [and so indirectly reflects on 
the now] this approach would aim to 
build a technique to qualitatively as- 
sess knowledge about forces affect- 
ing us in the present, and arrive at a 
certain precicion of awareness with 
regards to the origin, objective and 
range of these forces. As such, these 
approaches, to an extent, mirror each 
other: while FA asks participators to 
indirectly comment on contemporary 
society through imagining possible 
futures, /ft/5 approach devices a form 
of defining forces influencing these 
futures, working under the assump- 
tion that they influence all futures. 

of work 


The basis of this approach is a sur- 
vey which has, in terms of labor, its 
antecedent in very practical applica- 
tion. Historically, Friedrich Engel's 
case studies of Manchester workers 
and Karl Marx' 'structured interview' 
forms the basis for the appropriated 
survey spread across the following 
pages. A word on the character of these 
worker surveys is necessary. Marx' 
original survey, or "structured inter- 
view" was 100 questions designed to 
cover many aspects of working life. It 
was intended for French workers, and 
published in Revue Socialiste shortly 
before Marx' death in 1883. The ob- 
jective of these 100 questions was 
to connect different and seamingly 
unrelated aspects of labor conditions 
and labor organisation to generate 
awareness of what is called, in Marx- 
ist terms, "primary contradictions," 
the division of labor and the classes. 
Marx wanted the structured interview 
distributed among French workers to 
raise awareness and enable French 
labor organisations to claim rights 
similar to those then recently intro- 
duced in the UK, where Marx was liv- 
ing, such as the 10 hour working day 
and minor legal working age. 

For the organizations of the Italian 
'Operaisti,' or 'Workerist,' movement 
this kind of investigation became a 
blueprint for what they termed 'Criti- 
cal Inquiry' or 'Co- research.' This 
followed the same model in that the 
interview form was widely used, but 
by the mid 1970s the 'discipline' had 
acquired a motivation of 'conscious- 
ness raising' with regards to the indi- 
vidual worker - rather being conceived 
as the legal or 'state- body' (the idea 
was that a republican state, France, 
should follow a monarchical govern- 
ment, the UK, and launch inquiries 
into how to improve labor conditions) 
inquiry into social conditions that 
formed Marx' approach 





















— s 















i— H 
























— s 





















1 — H 


















<— 1- 















1— H 

"Abduction is what we use to generate a likely hypothesis or an initial diagnosis in response 
to a phenomenon of interest or a problem of concern, while deduction is used to clarify, to 
derive, and to explicate the relevant consequences of the selected hypothesis, and induc- 
tion is used to test the sum of the predictions against the sum of the data." n 












The interesting thing about Marx' ap- 
proach to the survey is that it is de- 
signed to politicise. Marx' structured 
interview is different from question- 
naires designed to build statistical 
data or, say, market demographics. 
Such approaches are off course not 
'objective,' they carry assumptions, 
but they are designed to collect the 
broadest possible data set in order to 
arrive at effective policy or a market- 
able product. Marx' strucured inter- 
view is a priori critical. It is based on 
opinion arrived at prior to formulating 
the questions of the survey. 

Initially thinking about the inquiry, a 
pragmatic approach is useful. It is the 
purpose of the inquiry, as well as the 
purpose of the thing in a given constel- 
lation we wish to get a picture of. The 
inquiry is meaningful when it leads to 
knowledge and/or certainty. The goal 
of the inquiry is to reduce doubt, and 
if possible lead to the end of inquiry. 

Theory of inquiry uses three kinds of 
interferences, known from the branch 
of philosophy refered to as logic. The 
three interferences are: 


It is processes similar to these in- 
terferences that are performed when 
construcing an inquiry into any 'phe- 
nomenon.' The inquiry consists of a 
range of assumptions and hypothesis 
formulated as questions [adopting the 
ethos of a priori criticality] - they will 
then be sorted as premisses, evalu- 
ated in turn by the presition of the 
conclusion towards they lead us. 



These three interferences work in a 
cyclical fashion, their usefulness is re- 
duced when isolated from any of the 
other. QUOTE: 

It is clear that without a stringent 
ethos of inquiry, the hypothesis will 
stay a hypothesis, and lead nowhere. 
Of central concern is also that this 
does not become an exercise in ask- 
ing questions for questions sake. Even 
when dealing with complex bodies of 
information and multiple characteris- 
tics, the objective of the inquiry must 
remain determinacy. 

Its tempting to say that the methodol- 
ogy of Marx' survey, when applied less 
strictly, with restriction, yes, but still 
allowing for provitional understand- 
ing, and taking the expansive nature 
of fields of inquiry into account, could 
build something of a phenomenology. 
But this rather depends on what defi- 
nition we would want of our object, 
for that too is a strategical concern. 
In Kant, phenomenon: the object as it 
appears is contrasted with the term 
noumenon: an epistemological con- 
cept, the object in a certain mode of 
cognition. \ 

This is akin to the thinking that led to 
the workshop: objectification, not by 
any authoritarian definition, but un- 
derstood and acted upon by a collec- 
tive, intellectual and radical capacity, 
delineated and constructed with a col- 
lective, political understanding of the 
object at hand. 

"In the pragmatic way of thinking everything has a purpose, and the purpose of 
doubt and lead to a state of belief, which a person in that state will usually call knol/vled 
kinds of inference describe a cycle that can be understood only as a whole, and r 
of abduction is to generate guesses of a kind that deduction can explicate and that induction can evaluate. This places a mild but meaningful constraint on the production of 

3ach thing is the first thing we should try to note about it. The purpose of inquiry is to reduce 
ge or certainty. As they contribute to the end of inquiry, we should appreciate that the three 
one of the three makes complete sense in isolation from the others. For instance, the purpose 
























hypotheses, since it is not just any wild guess at explanation that submits itself to reason and bows out when defeated in a match with reality. In a similar fashion, each of the 
other types of inference realizes its purpose only in accord with its proper role in the whole cycle of inquiry. No matter how much it may be necessary to study these processes 
in abstraction from each other, the integrity of inquiry places strong limitations on the effective modularity of its principal components. "a 


- The approach also bled into main- 
stream development practice: In 1980, 
an International Forum on 'Participa- 
tory Research' was held in what was 
then the Socialist Federal Republic 
of Yugoslavia. The discipline of 'Par- 
ticipatory Research' acknowledges 
the same origins of inquiry as the 
'Operaisti,' but explicitly draws on a 
much wider concoction of social and 
political theory and international ex- 
perience - ranging from the subversion 
of third world research paradigms on 
behalf of western interests, feminist 
research, socialist science to popu- 
lar education - to resource allocation 
and the use/exploitation of these. 















"Inference is the act or process of deriving a conclu- 
sion based solely on what one already knows."n 



^ "Agency considered in the philosophical sense is the capacity of an agent to act in a world. The agency is considered as belonging to that agent, even 
I— if that agent represents a fictitious character, or some other non-existent entity. The capacity to act does not at first imply a specific moral dimension 
q to the ability to make the choice to act. 

Human agency is the capacity for human beings to make choices and to impose those choices on the world. It is normally contrasted to natural forces, 
which are causes involving only unthinking deterministic processes. In this it is subtly distinct from the concept of free will, the philosophical doctrine 
that our choices are not the product of causal chains, but are significantly free or undetermined. Human agency entails the uncontroversial, weaker 
claim that humans do in fact make decisions and enact them on the world. How humans come to make decisions, by free choice or other processes, is 
another issue. 

The capacity of a human to act as an agent is personal to that human, though considerations of the outcomes flowing from particular acts of human 
agency for us and others can then be thought to invest a moral component into a given situation wherein an agent has acted, and thus to involve moral 
agency. If a situation is the consequence of human decision making, persons may be under a duty to apply value judgements to the consequences of 
their decisions, and held to be responsible for those decisions. 

In certain philosophical traditions (particularly those established by Hegel and Marx), human agency is a collective, historical dynamic, more than 
a function arising out of individual behavior. Hegel's Geist and Marx's universal class are idealist and materialist expressions of this idea of humans 
treated as social beings, organized to act in concert."** 

a quoted from 

# What is your trade? 

# Does the shop in which you work be- 
long to a capitalist or to a limited com- 
pany/ State the names of the capitalist 
owners or directors of the company. 

# State the number of persons em- 

# State their age and sex. 

# What is the youngest age at which 
children are taken off (boys or girls)? 

# State the number of overseers and 
other employees who are not rank and 
file hired workers. 

# Are their apprentices? How many? 

# Apart from the usual and regularly 
employed workers, are there others 
who come in at definite seasons?a 

# Does your employer' undertaking 
work exclusively or chiefly for local or- 
ders, or for the home market generally, 
or for export abroad? 

# Is the shop in a village, or in a town? 
State the locality. 

# If your shop is in the country, is there 
sufficient work in the factory for your 
existence or are you obliged to com- 
bine it with agricultural labor/ 

# Do you work with your hands or with 
the help of machinery? 

# State details as to the division of la- 
bor in your factory. 

# Is stream used as motive power? 

# State the number of rooms in which 
the various branches of production are 
carried on. Describe the specialty in 
which you are engaged. Describe not 
only the technical side, but the mus- 
cular and nervous strain required, and 
its general effect on the health of the 

# Describe the hygienic conditions in 
the workshops; the size of the rooms, 
space allotted to every worker, ventila- 
tion, temperature, plastering, lavato- 
ries, general cleanliness, noise of ma- 
chinery, metallic dust, dampness, etc. 

# Is there any municipal or government 
supervision of hygienic conditions in 
the workshops? 

# Are there in your industry particu- 
lar effluvia which are harmful for the 
health and produce specific diseases 
among the workers? 

# Is the shop overcrowded with machin- 

# Are safety measures to prevent acci- 
dents applied to the engine, transmis- 
sion and machinery? 

# How many different managers are 
there at your workplace? 

# Do you know any 'managers' outside 
your profession? 

# Are you aware of the effects on your 
company, if any, by the US invasion of 

# Do you personally know anyone who 
has recently been made unemployed? 

# Why did this happen? 

# What percentage of your weekly or 
monthly wage is spent on water? 

# What percentage of your weekly or 
monthly wage is spent on electricity? 

# What percentage of your weekly or 
monthly wage is spent on gas? 

# Are you aware of the effects on your 
company, if any, by the US/UK inva- 
sion of Iraq? 

# Describe wage increases during so- 
called prosperity periods. 

# Have you ever been on strike? 
Describe why? 

# If you produce commodities, com- 
pare the price of the commodities you 
manufacture with the price of your la- 

# Have you experienced, on part of 
your self or others, forced redundan- 
cy because of the introduction of new 

# Do you work in a new building? 

# Are you aware of what that building 
housed prior to your company? 

# Are you member of a union? 

# Were strikes in your trade ever sup- 
ported by strikes of workers belonging 
to other trades? 

# Does it exist any alternatives of em- 
ployee organization or association to 
unions in your profession? 

# If work takes place both night and day, 
what is the order of the shifts? 

# What is the usual lengthening of the 
working day in times of good trade? 

# Are the machines cleaned by workers 
specially hired for that purpose, or do the 
workers employed on these machines clean 
them free, during their working day? 

# What rules and fines exist for latecom- 
ers? When does the working day begin, 
when it is resumed after the dinner hour 

# How much time do you lose in coming to 
the workshop and returning home? 

# What agreements have you with your 
employer? Are you engaged by the day, 
week, month, etc.? 

# What conditions are laid down regarding 
dismissals or leaving employment? 

# In the event of a breach of agreement, 
what penalty can be inflicted on the em- 
ployer, if he is the cause of the breach? 

# What penalty can be inflicted on the 
worker if he is the cause of the breach? 

# If there are apprentices, what are their 
conditions of contract? 

# Is your work permanent or casual? 

# Does work in your trade take place 
only at particular seasons, or is the work 
usually distributed more or less equally 
throughout the year? If you work only at 
definite seasons, how do you live in the 

# Are you paid time or piece rate? 

# If you are paid time rate, is it by the 
hour or by the day? 

# Do you receive additions to your wages 
for overtime? How much? 

# If you receive piece rates, how are they 
fixed? Of you are employed in industries 
in which the work done is measured by 
quantity or weight, as in the mines, don't 
your employers or their clerks resort to 
trickery, in order to swindle you out of 
part of your wages/ 

# If you are paid piece rate, isn't the 
quality of the goods used as a pretext for 
wrongful deductions form your wages? 

# Whatever wages you get, whether piece 
or time rate, when is it paid to you; in oth- 
er words, how long is the credit you give 
your employer before receiving payment 
for the work you have already carried out? 
Are you paid a week later, month, etc.? 

# Have you noticed that delay in the pay- 
ment of your wages forces you often to 
resort to the pawnshops, paying rates of 
high interest there, and depriving yourself 
of things you need: or incurring debts 
with the shopkeepers, and becoming their 
victim because you are their debtor? Do 
you know of cases where workers have lost 
their wages owing to the ruin or bankrupt- 
cy of their employers? 

# Are wages paid direct by the employer, 
or by his agents ((contractors, etc.).)? 

# If wages are paid by contractors or 
other intermediaries, what are the con- 
ditions of your contract? 

# What is the amount of your money 
wages by the day week? 

# What are the wages of the women and 
children employed together with you in 
the same shop? 

# What was the highest daily wage last 
month in your shop? 

# What was the highest piece wage last 

# What were your own wages during the 
same time, and if you have a family, 
what were the wages of your wife and 

# Are wages paid entirely in money, or in 
some other form? 

# If you rent a lodging from your em- 
ployer, on what conditions ? Does he not 
deduct the rent from your wages? 

# What are the prices of necessary com- 
modities, for example: 

(a) Rent of your lodging, conditions of 
lease, number of rooms, persons living 
in them, repair, insurance, buying and 
repairing furniture, heating, lighting, wa- 
ter, etc. 

(b) Food — bread, meat, vegetables, po- 
tatoes, etc, dairy produce, eggs, fish, 
butter, vegetable, oil, lard, sugar, salt, 
groceries, coffee, chicory, beer, wine, 
etc., tobacco. 

(c) Clothing for parents and children, 
laundry, keeping clean, bath, soap, etc. 

(d) Various expenses, such as corre- 
spondence, loans, payments to pawnbro- 
ker, children's schooling and teaching a 
trade, newspapers, books, etc., contri- 
butions to friendly societies, strikes, un- 
ions, resistance associations, etc. 

(e) Expenses, if any necessitated by your 

(f) Taxes. 

# Try and draw up a weekly and yearly 
budget of your income and expenditure 
for self and family. 

# Have you noticed, in your personal ex- 
perience, a bigger rise in the price of 
immediate necessities, e.g., rent, food, 
etc., than in wages? 

# State the changes in wages which you 
know of. 

# Describe wage increases during so- 
called prosperity periods. 

# Describe any interruptions in employ- 
ment caused by changes in fashions and 
partial and general crises. Describe your 
own involuntary rest periods. 

# Compare the price of the commodi- 
ties you manufacture or the services you 
render with the price of your labor. 

# Quote any cases known to you of work- 
ers being driven out as a result of intro- 
duction of machinery or other improve- 

# In connection with the development of 
machinery and the growth of the produc- 
tiveness of labor, has its intensity and 
duration increased or decreased? 

# Do you know of any cases of increases 
in wages as a result of improvements in 

# Have you ever known any rank and file 
workers who could retire from employ- 
ment at the age of 50 and live on the 
money earned by them as wage work- 

# How many years can a worker of aver- 
age health be employed in your trade? 

Over these two pages, Marx' original 
100 questions are spread out and 
mixed with questions about work for- 
mulated for the workshop setting in 
which the appropriated survey was 
used. The questions formulated for 
the workshop draw upon critiques 
not exclusively marxist. A number of 
concepts important to a range of cri- 
tiques and philosophy went into the 
thought process of the workshop and 
the appropriated survey that was used 
for that particular event. 





# What do you do? 

# For how many hours of the week do 
you do you this? 

# Do you work hours unpaid? 

# Describe the ownership relations 
of your trade branch/business/com- 

# Describe the average degree of 
education with regards to your fellow 

# Describe your work over three aver- 
age days 

# Name the 5 institutions/bodies/ 
phenomena/ exerting the most pow- 
er over your life. 

# Is your company, to your knowl- 
edge, involved in activities that entail 
breaches of ethical codes of conduct 
or direct violations of human or ani- 
mal rights abuse? 

If yes, which? 

# Is your company, to your knowl- 
edge, involved in unethical trade re- 

If yes, describe them. 

# Describe to which extent technol- 
ogy is part of your everyday working 

# Do your company have an 'extra 
building' for security reasons? 

# Are you and/or your family insured 
by a workplace scheme? 

# Are you employed long- term? 

# Are you aware of your business/ 
company using elongated employ- 
ment by short term contract? 

# Are you aware of recent forced re- 

# Describe the difference in pay be- 
tween three company executives and 
yourself in chronological order 
starting with you. 

# Describe the difference in pay be- 
tween you and three employees to 
which you are senior. 

# In the course of your working week, 
would you describe your eating hours 
as irregular? 

# Do you work at night? 

# Do your company employ an 'indi- 
vidual pay' policy? 

If yes, are you aware of the criteria 
for wage assessment? 

# Do your company employ interns? 
If yes, are you aware of their con- 
tractual agreements with regards to 

# Are you paid at a weekly or a 
monthly rate? 

# Are you aware of the effects on 
your company, if any, by 9/11? 

# Are you in debt? 

# Mention the accidents which have tak- 
en place in your personal knowledge. 

# If you work in a mine, state the safety 
measures adopted by your employer to 
ensure ventilation and prevent explo- 
sions and other accidents. 

# If you work in a chemical factory, at 
an iron works, at a factory producing 
metal goods, or in any other industry 
involving specific dangers to health, de- 
scribe the safety measures adopted by 
your employer. 

# What is your workshop lit up by (gas, 
oil, etc.)? 

# Are there sufficient safety appliances 
against fire? 

# Is the employer legally bound to com- 
pensate the worker or his family in case 
of accident? 

# If not, has he ever compensated those 
who suffered accidents while working 
for his enrichment? 

# Is first-aid organized in your work- 

# If you work at home, describe the 
conditions of your work room. Do you 
use only working tools or small ma- 
chines? Do you have recourse to the 
help of your children or other persons 
(adult or children, male or female)? Do 
you work for private clients, or for an 
employer? Do you deal with him direct 
or trough an agent? 

# State the number of hours you work 
daily, and the number of working days 
during the week. 

# State the number of holidays in the 
course of a year. 

# What breaks are there during the 
working day? 

# Do you take meals at definite inter- 
vals, or irregularly? Do you eat in the 
workshop or outside? 

# Does work go on during meal times? 

# If steam is used, when is it started 
and when stopped? 

# Does work go on at night? 

# State the number of hours of work of 
children and young people under 16. 

# Are there shifts if children and young 
people replacing each other alternately 
during working hours? 

# Has the government or municipality 
applied the laws regulating child la- 
bor? Do the employers submit to these 

# Do schools exist for children and 
young people employed in your trade? If 
they exist, in what hours do the lessons 
take place? Who manages the schools? 
What is taught in them? 

# Do any resistance associations exist in your 
trade and how are they led? Send us their 
rules and regulations. 

# How many strikes have taken place in your 
trade that you are aware of? 

# How long did these strikes last? 

# Were they general or partial strikes? 

# Were they for the object of increasing wag- 
es, or were they organized to resist a reduc- 
tion of wages, or connected with the length 
of the working day, or prompted by other mo- 

# What were their results? 

# Tell us of the activity of the courts of arbi- 

# Were strikes in your trade ever supported by 
strikes of workers belonging to other trades? 

# Describe the rules and fines laid down by 
your employer for the management of his 
hired workers. 

# Have there ever existed associations among 
the employers with the object of imposing a 
reduction of wages, a longer working day, of 
hindering strikes and generally imposing their 
own wishes? 

# Do you know of cases when the government 
made unfair use of the armed forces, to place 
them at the disposal of the employers against 
their wage workers? 

# Are you aware of any cases when the govern- 
ment intervened to protect the workers from 
the extortions of the employers and their il- 
legal associations? 

# Does the government strive to secure the ob- 
servance of the existing factory laws against 
the interests of the employers? Do its inspec- 
tors do their duty? 

# Are there in your workshop or trade any 
friendly societies to provide for accidents, 
sickness, death, temporary incapacity, old 
age, etc.? Send us their rules and regula- 

# Is membership of these societies voluntary 
or compulsory? Are their funds exclusively 
controlled by the workers? 

# If the contributions are compulsory, and 
are under the employers' control, are they 
deducted from wages? Do the employers pay 
interest for this deduction? Do they return 
the amounts deducted to the worker when he 
leaves employment or is dismissed? Do you 
know of any cases when the workers have ben- 
efitted from the so-called pensions schemes, 
which are controlled by the employers, but 
the initial capital of which is deducted before- 
hand from the workers' wages? 

# Are there cooperative guilds in your trade? 
How are they controlled? Do they hire workers 
for wages in the same ways as the capitalists? 
Send us their rules and regulations. 

# Are there any workshops in your trade in 
which payment is made to the workers partly 
in the form of wages and partly in the form of 
so-called profit sharing? Compare the sums 
received by these workers and the sums re- 
ceived by other workers who don't take place 
in so-called profit sharing. State the obliga- 
tions of the workers living under this system, 
may they go on strike, etc. or are they only 
permitted to be devoted servants of their em- 

# What are the general physical, intellectual 
and moral conditions of life of the working 
men and women employed in your trade? 

# If yes, are these alternatives 
present at your place of work? 

# Have you experienced, on part of 
your self or others, arrest at any 

# Describe the reaction by other 
employees and/or employers. 

# Do you feel empowered to carry 
out your work in compliance with 
your personal ethical and/or politi- 
cal convictions? 

# Do you feel expendable? 

# Describe your pensions scheme. 

# What are the general physical, in- 
tellectual and moral conditions of 
life of the working men and women 
employed in your trade? 

# Describe how creativity is en- 
couraged or discouraged in your 

# Have you experienced, on part of 
your self or others, payment bonus 
in relation to having submitted a 
good idea? 

# General ... 

# General remarks. 

By Grim Erland. Contact: 

Grim Erland is an artist currently living and working 
in Oslo, Norway. Past projects include Collide/Col- 
labo, [collaborative] the Collective Strategies semi- 
nar series at The Art Academy of Oslo, and research 
on behalf of Beyond the Free Market, London. 




Edited by Manuela Zechner 

With contributions by: Anja Kanngieser, Grim Svingen, Rozalinda Borcila, Valie Djordjevic, BLW, Neil Cummings, Manuela 
Zechner, Everybodies, Critical Practice, Paz Rojo 

Merci: Berno Odo Polzer, Nicolas Couturier, Anja Kanngieser, Grim Svingen and many others 
September 2009 

p I ayf o rwa rd @f u t u rea rc h i ve. o rg 

for a Pdf version of this newspaper see 

or for printing: 






mit freundlicher 

Unterstutzung durch die 

Kulturbetriebe Unna/ Medien Kunst Raum Unna 


playback, playforward refers to the general title Q - 

or rubric for a series of participatory workshops and 
discussions on respeaking, starting from BLW work (see -3 
texts by BLW and Rozalinda Borcila in this publication). 
Some of these happen with students, others in more infor- ^ 
mal learning situations, play back, play forward was also — 
the title of a workshop facilitated by Rozalinda Borcila, Anja Q - 
Kanngieser and Manuela Zechner at summit (see text on ^ 
Negotiating speech and organizational practices) in Berlin ~ 

-1— » 






Kulturbetriebe Unna 
Zentrum fur 

Information und Bildung 

The texts in this publication, unless other wise stated 
are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribu- 
tion-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. To view 
a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons. 
org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Crea- 
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Francisco, California, 94105, USA. 

http://www. arch Is/ PlaybackPlayforward_pdf_a4